SACC Statement on the EU Referendum

SACC has no collective view on whether Britain should stay in the EU or leave it. We are opposed to David Cameron's agreement with the EU that Britain can apply an "emergency brake" to in-work benefits for EU citizens working in the UK. It is in the interests of all UK workers for equal rights and benefits to be available to everyone working here.

Whether Britain remains in the EU or not, SACC demands that there should be no reduction in the rights that EU citizens currently enjoy in the UK.

We are opposed to the EU's "Fortress Europe" strategy which obstructs the travel of refugees and other migrants to Europe,  promotes human rights violations and encourages racism and xenophobia within Europe. EU policy reinforces the anti-immigration policies of individual EU states and makes it harder to change these policies.

We are opposed to the EU's anti-terrorism policies, and especially to its largely unaccountable list of designated terrorist organisations. EU policies reinforce the UK's anti-terrorism policies and make it harder to change these policies.

We are opposed to the EU's imposition of neo-liberalism, for example EU procurement legislation that makes it difficult, though not impossible, to apply human rights conditions to public procurement and makes it very difficult to defend public provision of public services. EU rules reinforce the neo-liberal strategies of the Tory Government and make it very difficult to change them.

If Britain votes to leave the EU and its exit is led by the Tory Government, we fear that the process will be deeply damaging for the majority of people in Britain and especially for citizens of other EU countries living here. On the other hand, if a vote to leave the EU triggers the collapse of the Tory Government and creates an opening for a more progressive government, Britain's exit could be implemented in a spirit of solidarity with the peoples of the EU and elsewhere. We leave it to our supporters to weigh these different scenarios for themselves.

We are appalled at the reactionary views being put forward by some opponents of the EU, and especially by Iain Duncan Smith's claim that Britain risks Paris-style attacks by staying in the EU. We fear that the referendum debate will trigger a xenophobia-fest unless vigorous steps are taken to promote internationalism and resist xenophobia and racism. We urge everyone taking part in the debate, whatever side they take, to challenge xenophobia, racism and reactionary scare-mongering at every opportunity.