The importance of fighting Brexit

It was entirely appropriate that it was the votes of the DUP that saved Theresa May’s Government in the vote of no confidence. A reactionary Government was saved by the most reactionary and bigoted collection of MPs in parliament.  It is clear that whatever the DUP’s differences over May’s Brexit deal, it did not want to risk a Corbyn alternative.

This illustrates a question for the left in the Labour Party – does it too place Corbyn before taking a position on Brexit?  In the previous few hours before setting to write this post I came across two examples of this question being posed.

The first was a Facebook post which noted that in a Labour party branch, which I think was in London, the Corbyn supporters were moving to drop, or at least lessen, their opposition to Brexit since they considered it was weakening Corbyn’s position.

The second was in another Facebook exchange in which an old comrade of mine from Glasgow argued that “For me ending austerity by removing the Tories is the most important thing. I oppose Brexit within that context. I don’t support remain if austerity is to continue. I oppose Brexit as part of a working-class fightback so don’t have common cause with remain Tories or the labour right or the SNP.”

A third exchange posts an article which makes the claim that the argument over Lexit is irrelevant and that the only possible Brexit now is a reactionary one.  The first two Facebook exchanges shows that this is not the case.

The first – to support Corbyn by accepting his policy of a Labour “jobs Brexit” – is to support Corbyn by ditching ‘Corbynism”,  or rather to support Corbyn by ditching what is best in Corbynism; accepting the worst of his national reformist politics that will destroy the potential of his better policies.

Outside the EU large numbers of businesses will close, re-locate to mainland Europe and reduce their presence in Britain.  Those that remain will find the costs of trading with their biggest trading partner increase and their competitiveness reduce.  The value of the currency will fall, living standards will decline and the potential for the state to deliver redistributive policies and provide a satisfactory welfare state will be reduced.  The British economy will be set back and then probably stagnate or grow more slowly. At the very least it will decline relatively to its European neighbours.

All this of course will be a thousand times worse if there is no deal at all.

This leaves out the reactionary political effects of withdrawal, which is predicated on foreigners being responsible for British problems.  This is the common analysis of both left and right opposition to membership of the EU.

The left blames a supposedly unreformable neoliberal EU, with its laws against state aid etc. and the right blames immigration and Brussels for undermining British freedom. In effect they both stand up for the independence and sovereignty of the British State and its parliament against a supposed Brussels bureaucracy.  In the shape of Stalinism the language is often identical.  It gets ludicrous when there are claims that Lexit means self-determination for Britain, as if it were an oppressed nation, which of course is precisely the logic of the Lexit case.

It would therefore appear that the only way to save Corbynism is to save the man from himself, and since such a thing is very rarely possible it means facing the question of saving ourselves from his Brexit policy.

Confused political events are often accompanied by confused ideas and nothing illustrates this more than Corbyn standing by the principle that any Brexit deal must involve a permanent customs union with the EU.

Unfortunately this makes no sense.  The current trading arrangements that exist in the EU, and which Corbyn says must be maintained, owe a lot more to the existence of the Single Market than to the customs union. Corbyn says he wants Britain to be part of a Single Market but there is only one Single Market and leaving the EU, as Corbyn wants, will mean leaving it and leaving the free trading arrangements the benefits of which he wants to maintain.

Remaining in a customs union with the EU will not remove the need to negotiate trade agreements with the EU or with all the other countries with which Britain now trades through deals negotiated with the EU.

No doubt Corbyn would want these deals to continue to apply to Britain, just as he wants the benefits of the Single Market and just as he wants Britain to have a say in how the EU negotiates its trade arrangements; but this simply shows the have-cake-and-eat-it delusional character of the proposed Labour Brexit.

The attempt to strike such a deal would be an ignominious failure and be just as humiliating as the repeated embarrassing episodes of Theresa May’s European adventures.  My friend in Glasgow is therefore wrong when he says that “a Corbyn renegotiation could be useful if he highlighted anti-working class aspects of the present set up.”  If Corbyn highlighted them he would only put the spotlight on his own failure to remove them.

More importantly, it is wrong because reforming the EU will not come from the British State getting the rules changed, but from British workers – with the help of a Corbyn Government – uniting with other EU workers and their political parties in getting the rules changed for the whole EU, not pursuing exemptions for one member state.

To be fair to my Glasgow comrade, he knows that such an attempt to negotiate a Labour Brexit will fail, but he does not factor in the consequences of such a failure, which is to weaken any Corbyn administration that attempted it.  Here we will leave to one side what he might then decide to do when he did fail.

And this brings us to the second way in which a correct policy of utmost opposition to Brexit is the only correct socialist policy, for the comrade says that “for me ending austerity by removing the Tories is the most important thing. I oppose Brexit within that context. I don’t support remain if austerity is to continue. I oppose Brexit as part of a working-class fightback so don’t’ have common cause with remain Tories or the labour right or the SNP.”

Opposing Brexit as a principle does not entail automatic common cause with remain Tories or the labour right or the SNP.  As an opponent of Scottish independence the comrade will know that it was possible to take this position without joining with the Tories in the ’Better Together’ campaign. Similarly, it is possible also to support a second EU referendum without forming an alliance with the Peoples Vote movement.  In fact a Labour Party socialist campaign for such a vote and a campaign to Remain would transform this demand, making it a potential rallying point for millions of Labour supporters and voters opposed to Brexit and austerity.

Saying that “I don’t support remain if austerity is to continue” is pointless since if Remain does not win the current austerity can only increase.

In this respect it is vital to understand that Brexit can only damage the interests of the working class.

Consider this.  The hard-right of the Tory party want to leave the EU in order to impose a low wage, low tax, deregulated sweat shop off the coast of mainland Europe and the EU is afraid of this competition.  The Withdrawal Agreement repeatedly sets out the steps that the EU wants in place to prevent this from happening.  As socialists we want to prevent it as well, so we agree with the EU on preventing such a project – one very concrete illustration of why Remain is the correct policy for socialists.

The next question is whether such a deregulated Brexit policy is the only one possible.  Apart from the obvious fact that it is the only one on offer, and no collaboration between the Labour Party and Theresa May will change this, the answer lies in considering what could be the potential alternatives to such a Brexit.

The reason why Corbyn wants to leave, but wants nothing related to trade to change, is because all trade related changes that must inevitably result from Brexit will weaken the British economy and weaken any potential for a social-democratic Britain.  Outside the EU a Britain with a similar regulatory framework as the EU will find it harder to compete, not just because of trade barriers that would have to rise up, but because production restricted within the UK, within one country (as necessarily must be the case to a greater extent when outside the EU) will be less efficient than the continental scale production within the EU.

Outside the EU Britain will more and more become a competitor to the EU if it is not to become simply a satellite of it.  This will be the inevitable result of a reactively small Britain seeking trade deals with more powerful nations such as the US and China.  Such competition will not drive regulatory standards up; it must be obvious that it will be quite the opposite.

The view of the Stalinist supporters of Brexit that the British state can take over production to create a state-led economic development that will compete with the EU, US and China etc. simply ignores the failure of such a project in the Soviet Union.  How many times does it need to be proved that there can be no socialism in one country, and no social democracy in one country either? Only on an international basis would it be possible to lift corporate taxes, or taxes on the richest billionaires, to raise the cost of welfare services through extended provision or significantly raise the terms and conditions of workers.  Only on an international basis is it possible to have the most efficient production upon which a new economy can be developed.  The looming collapse of the car industry in Britain is negative proof of this.

In a further comment the comrade says that “In effect, Corbyn is using the threat of no deal to win a GE (General Election). Quite right too. That is what I am saying. If faced with the certainty of a no deal Brexit remain Tories will vote for a GE.”

The problem with this of course is that the Tory Remainers have been exposed as spineless.  More importantly, the threat of no deal comes from the Tory Government.  Both it and Labour pursuing a similar bluff could end up with both delivering a busted flush.

In less than a day we have seen May’s call for all-party talks to be a sham.  Her spokespeople have said that she will make no significant changes to her Withdrawal Agreement.

As we have noted above, accommodating Corbyn’s demand for membership of a customs union will not even achieve the objectives of its sponsor. Only Single Market membership will do that and neither the EU nor Tory Brexiteers will swallow this and the latter will not accept a customs union.  On its own a customs union will not do away with the need for an Irish back-stop so neither the DUP or Tory Brexit ultras will accept it.  Were Theresa May to attempt a deal with the Labour Party on this basis the Tories would most likely split.

Pivoting to the ultra-Brexiteers in her own Party by ditching the backstop would fall foul of the EU and expose May’s promise as an outrageous lie.  This sort of Brexit would also fail in Westminster.  It would not be enough for the Brexiteers as the transitional deal involving all-UK customs union membership would still remain and still be unacceptable to the ultras.  This too would have to go but this, even where the EU to agree, would raise problems of implementation similar to no deal.

Since the issues haven’t changed the favoured solution of Theresa May cannot be expected to change much either.  And neither can her strategy of threatening no deal in order to get her own agreement accepted.

But this is really a threat to blow one’s own brains out.  It hasn’t been credible, which is why May lost the vote on her deal so heavily, but now that more people are beginning to think that it may be, the Tory Chancellor has been telling business not to worry, it’s not going to happen.

Just as Theresa May previously threatened Brexiteers with no-Brexit and Remainers with no deal, now she is in effect threatening parliament with no deal while promising the capitalists that it won’t happen. She needs to do this because if the latter start to believe that no deal is a real possibility they will take direct action to stop it.  The pound will fall and major announcements of disinvestment will follow.

In such a situation, in which no successful move seems possible for any of the parties, the strains between them will cause something to break.

The EU has no reason to strike a new deal with any British party when none can guarantee to deliver.  There is no reason for them to offer any compromise to anyone.  A collection of MPs from all the parties would not have the capacity or authority (in any sense of that term) to offer an alternative deal to the EU.

Any significant shift by May from her existing deal in any direction would destabilise the Tory Party and lead to the defection of the ultras or even some Remainers. It is unlikely enough MPs will be scared enough to pass her deal.

In these circumstances no deal or no Brexit is most likely, although not inevitable.  Extending the timescale of Article 50 simply extends the problem and would in itself intensify the crisis.  In such circumstances it is necessary to oppose no deal and fight for no Brexit.  And that is why it matters that socialists prioritise the battle against it.

For socialists inside the Labour Party the fight starts within the Party so that the views of the vast majority of the membership are imposed on the leadership.  In these circumstances the membership cannot allow Corbyn to place himself in the way. They must reject any potential blackmail in the same way that they have rejected the blackmail threat of no deal.  In my younger days certain political questions were called ‘the acid test’. Brexit is that test for socialists today.

8 thoughts on “The importance of fighting Brexit

  1. The statement you make pleading the case that Brexit is the acid test for socialists today is just wrong. What is at stake is less important than the bourgeois media would have us believe. It is a quarrel between the political representatives of capital over political patronage. The one thing that is entirely certain is that whatever the outcome of the quarrel between bourgeois friends the needs of the British workers will end up being relegated to the second division. If the Brexit politicians win the political quarrel, the businesses workers currently work for will have to become more competitive to survive and, some will disappear, they will try to survive by lowering wages and introducing new Technics to battle against a new wave of competitors from what used to be called the Third World , China ,India etc. You might think the conclusion therefore should be that Brexit can only inflict yet more harm on the British worker and should be the priority you say it is.

    Yet if the Leave politicians win the quarrel between bourgeois friends the outcome for British workers will hardly be anything better. The EU has been degrading the wages and conditions of workers for some decades. Recently the French President attempted to introduce the same Hartz reform that were trailblazeed in Germany some 16 years ago and this provoked the latest wave of social unrest. The idea that German workers are the happiest and fattest working people in Europe is a complete media fabrication. The customs wall of the EU does offer some protection from ‘foreign’ competitors, however the EU is committed to making its own free trade deals with the Other world.

    If Brexit goes ahead the worst that will happen is what economists call an economic shock brought on by a sudden disruption to trade, but as far I know real economic recessions are not caused by disruptions to trade, they are caused by falling demand for goods and services and labour power brought on by a falling profits, if the Brexit politicians succeed they more than likely raise the level of workers exploitation and therefore raise the rate of profit.

    I am afraid you have bought into project fear in a big way, this is really bizarre! It has been a central theme of you blog so far to disabuse socialists and marxists of their catastrophic understanding of the capitalist economy yet here you are warning them that Brexit means terrible economic catastrophe. What is even more disturbing is that you seem to be joining ranks with those who now say Corbyn must be removed from the leadership of the Labour party over his light touch opposition to Brexit. It is time for a rethink.

    I am not a fan boy of Corbyn but I think he is right to make his main priority using the EU quarrel as no more than an opportunity to try force the Tories from Government Office. He only needs an alternative EU policy if he cares about the so called ‘democratic’ referendum, I suspect he knows that the referendum is no obstacle to anything. If Corbyn stays calm, he might live to see the destruction of the once Great Tory party.

    • You say that Brexit “is a quarrel between the political representatives of capital over political patronage.”

      I’m afraid I don’t understand the rationale for this statement. It would seem obvious to me that Brexit involves a lot more than political patronage.

      You agree that the Brexit project involves a right wing attempt to destroy a number of rights that workers have, will lower living standards and then say that this is what the EU is also doing – in or out it’s much the same is your argument. But this fails to identify what the EU initiative is that would lead to the deregulation of the European economy that would have the impact comparable to Brexit. It doesn’t exist.

      As I noted the EU has a highly regulated system that Brexit is attempting to destroy, or at least to depart from, not in order to increase the rights of workers but to strip these rights for them. This sweat-shop capitalism is not the strategy of big business, which is defended by the EU, so on this question the working class should defend the rights it has by rejecting the attack on itself, which means opposing Brexit. Brexit and Remain will not lead to identical outcomes and this should be obvious.

      The difference is that Brexit is trying to turn the clock back to a narrow, more primitive capitalism that is framed in the heads of Brexiteers as nostalgia for the Empire and British imperial power. There is no going back to it and the attempt will be wholly reactionary.

      Socialism will be built on the advances of capitalism and not by attempts to go backwards.

      You present the argument that there will not be a significant problem in terms of an economic recession because Brexit is not like a typical recession. And anyway it will be sorted by increased exploitation of workers. The second sentence is damning enough but the faulty logic of the first sentence needs some elaboration.

      The circuit of capital that Marx enumerated involved money capital buying the means of production which combined in production produced commodities with a higher value than the value of these means of production. These commodities are then sold for a sum of money greater than the original money capital.

      This circuit of reproduction can be set out in this way M => C => P => C’ => M’, where C is the means of production including labour power and raw materials, P is production, C’ is the final commodities produced which are sold for M’ amount of money, which is greater than the original M invested.

      Marx was well aware of capitalist recessions caused by barriers to trade, as he noted in the blockade of cotton supplies during the US civil war, which reduced and then ended the supply of the raw material to the cotton industry in Britain, causing the cotton crisis. This raised the price of cotton so that in the circuit of capital that needed to be completed to allow the reproduction of capital, so that the term ‘C’ is greater in price or lower in quantity or both, or is altogether unavailable. Any of these could interrupt the reproduction of capital causing an economic crisis. Marx noted that “violent price fluctuations therefore cause interruptions, great collisions, even catastrophes, in the process of reproduction.”

      The barriers to trade created by Brexit are analogous to this so that higher import prices may increase the costs of British production and require greater amounts of capital for it to proceed; this may cause some firms to go out of business. The cost of the final product if exported may not allow all production to be sold, or the price may have to be reduced so lowering profitability, again perhaps causing businesses to go bust or certainly causing reduction in capital accumulation. If not exported then British workers will have to buy dearer goods so having less income to buy other goods so causing problems in these other industries.

      If sudden and large barriers to trade are not normal causes of crises this is because capitalists are usually not stupid enough to cause them to arise. If this is now possible because of Brexit this is because Brexit was a stupid decision and just because it is bad for capitalism does not mean it is good for workers. This would be an equally stupid view to take.

      You acknowledge that Corbyn needs an alternative EU policy, but I would have thought that this was the least he could do; his existing approach is incoherent and failing. If he simply ‘stays calm’ Brexit will be imposed either in the shape of May’s deal or through no deal. In either case he will not escape blame and will probably not escape a return to the backbenches either. His policy leaves him wide open to attack from the right in the Party.

      If he manages to get a General Election, unless he opposes Brexit he will lose a lot of the support from Labour voters who are in the majority Remain. This will be especially true of the young people who have supported him, who are possibly the most enthusiastic Remainers and have the least history of supporting the Labour Party.

      • “The circuit of capital that Marx enumerated involved money capital buying the means of production which combined in production produced commodities with a higher value than the value of these means of production. These commodities are then sold for a sum of money greater than the original money capital.

        This circuit of reproduction can be set out in this way M => C => P => C’ => M’, where C is the means of production including labour power and raw materials, P is production, C’ is the final commodities produced which are sold for M’ amount of money, which is greater than the original M invested.”

        This is not actually correct, for the reasons I’ve set out on my blog. In Capital II, III and in Theories of Surplus Value, Marx makes clear that the circuit of industrial capital is not as you have set it out above, which is only the circuit of newly invested money-capital, or capital that is being liquidated, for example due to a firm closing down. The circuit of industrial capital is rather

        P… C`… M`.M – C … P.
        This shows the nature of capital as a continuous process, and that the relevant expansion is not an expansion of money-capital, but is the expansion of the productive-capital, as a result of the production processes, via the creation of surplus value in production. Capital as Marx says is a social relation, and it is the expansion of this social relation, and thereby the physical expansion of the quantity of labour employed, via accumulation of the surplus value that is its basis, as this enables a still greater mass of surplus value to be produced.

        However, I do not wish to say any more on that technical point here, as I agree entirely with the rest of your argument, and would not wish to detract from it, simply on this technical nicety.

      • Just a couple of points. The statement I objected to concerned the idea that Labour coming out against Brexit is for today the acid test for the British workers movement. You referred to the former use of that formulation without mentioning the actual instance of the struggle in the north of Ireland for freedom and equality to which it refereed. The context then was one of British imperialism and the social imperialism that came with it ie support from British Labour for the actions of British troops in the north of Ireland.

        It cannot be said that the analogy is an appropriate one when the battle over the future British membership of the EU is one neither for or against imperialism. There may be a case that the struggle between Greece and the EU over policy and membership is one about imperialism against oppression, though I don’t want to digress on the matter.

        The other points I made are very much ancillary to the first one. As to the question of trade and the ramifications, I have to say that I had just been watching on Youtube the lectures about international trade theory offered by Anwar Shaikh. He makes many interesting points and says that Marxism is often confused on the issue. He refutes the mainstream view based on Ricardo’s theory of comparative cost equilibrium, pointing out that it is wrong in logic and in empirical evidence, incidentally he says that Adam Smith is better on the issue of international trade. One point he makes is that international trade should not been taken to belong to a different world set apart from the normal domestic economy, competition between firms, it follows the same logic and sets up a similar pattern, the trade imbalances on the international scale exist withing national economies as regional imbalances. If this is true then Brexit will not amount to something like a capitalism or a socialism in one country, what will be the logical outcome is a relocation in the pattern of economic activity rather than a collapse in British trade and relative prosperity. I confess my ignorance on how the relocation of capital will take place.

        Finally I used the phrase a quarrel over political patronage, I should have said political power and patronage. I see the Brexit quarrel as very much about the future of political institutions under capitalist conditions. At an earlier stage in the debate I tried to force it into a standard class analysis, ie a quarrel between the petty bourgeois or the small firms sector and the bourgeoisie proper, this was based on the hypothesis that the small firms sector exports very little and the corporate sector that exports a great deal. Yet on reflection the analysis was forced to fit with an obvious class model of capitalism. For one thing the small firms sector in Britain depends on the ready supply of low wages workers from the Eastern part of the EU to gather the produce form the fields and staff the bars hotels etc.

        My observation is that there are such things as social Intuitions that wield power and patronage connected to the social relations of capitalism that are however well removed from the competition between firms scenario , I am referring to the Legal profession, the medical profession, the educational profession, the media profession that are involved in a different kind of struggle than the one over commodities and prices. The social Institutions are not concerned with the price and quality of goods rather they concern themselves with power and status, I am not sure what to call this, maybe Rank is a good alternative.

        There are also political Institutions, parliaments, departments of State, political parties that reside within capitalism that are are also concerned with other matters beside the immediate business interest; maintaining or enhancing their own social or political Rank. This observation does not make a neat fit with the Marxist quip that the State or the political institutions is merely a committee for the common management of the economic affairs of the bourgeoisie.

        What I observe is a quarrel over the Rank of the older established political institutions in comparison with the new political Institutions of the EU, between a loyalism for the 300 years of the old British political Institutions and the newer Political Institution of the EU. If you look at the short history Institutions of the EU they seem to be always increasing their relative Rank. The one that I notice the most is concerns the Law, the prestigious British courts including what used to be called the House of Lords, the Supreme Court has to defer to the court of the EU. Another Political Institution that is of very recent origin is the European Central Bank, this hardly existed ten years ago, now the Governor of the Bank of England ‘consults’ with the EU central bank on a monthly basis, is he giving advice, taking advice, or taking instructions, we now that in Ireland the consultation is a taking of instructions. The individual politician easily develops a loyalty to the political Institution they inhabit irrespective of the business interest. I can’t imagine William Rees Mogg as a EU member in any economic circumstance.

        FINALLY while not being loyal to the older Political Institutions at a personal level I have no faith or confidence in the newer EU Political Institutions, to me they resemble the famous iron cage that Max Weber once said he feared the most. I am nominally in favour of movements that are against ever expanding transfer of powers and patronage to the EU Intuitions, although one has to be very guarded about this as this is taking a right wing form. I am not opposed to everything about the EU, there is a necessity in economics according to Anwar Shaikh to see that there is balanced trade rather than free trade and a cut down EU could help with that.

        Basically I am against the Expansive side of the EU Institutions, this Expansiveness is a worry because we don’t no were and when it will end, the Brexit people say it ends at a European Super State, socialists can say that it ends at a socialist federation of Europe, I see no great reason to believe the speculations, what I do see and dislike is the mere Expansiveness. A good philosophical definition of ‘Power’ is Expansiveness without Telos

  2. The labour movement must fight for a general election. That is the real people’s vote that is needed by working class people. Without a GE the Tories and austerity stay in place. If we dont offer a pro-working class socialist way forward and simply back remain many workers who voted leave because they are sick of the status quo with its foods banks and benefit cuts will be open to the nasty and despairing politics of the far right. Socialists cant line up with the remain Tories and the Blairites with their history of attacks on working class living standards. If they do the far right can mendaciously portray themselves as the only real anti-establishment force and thus grow as life gets worse. Remain or leave we are headed for another big economic downturn and we need to build a socialist force which can point the socialist way forward and that must involve the international unity of the working class and not the despairing politics of nationalism and racism. Brexit is a reactionary project and must be opposed without quarter- no doubt about that. But socialists fight back against it with the socialist project of building a European wide class struggle resistance to austerity and militarism. Not by lining up with the conservative project of remain. We are not defenders of the institutions of the EU but promoters of the unity of the European working class in the struggle for socialism.

    • I don’t think there is a great deal of difference between us in terms of principle and even of some immediate steps that need to be taken.

      Both of us want a general election and both of us want a Labour victory. Both want us to have a movement independent of the bourgeois forces supporting Remain and both of us want a pan-European response based on the unity of the European working class. Neither of us have illusions in the EU.

      However I think that Corbyn needs to reverse his policy of supporting Brexit (which he does through his ridiculous idea that there can be a progressive one) and needs to come out clearly for Remain on the basis of the politics set out above – of European workers unity.

      If he does not it is my view he will lose support from a lot of Remain Labour voters and especially from the youth who support him and are big supporters of Remain. In this sense fighting for Remain is vital to the success of getting the Tories out, and if Corbyn stands in the way he must be removed, or at the very least by-passed by the mass membership of the Party determining the new policy.

      It is also my view that Brexit would be a major set back to the possibility of the unity of British workers with their European brothers and sisters, and that EU membership makes it a bit easier to achieve this unity for similar (although not identical) reasons that opposing Scottish separation makes the unity of British workers easier.

      • Could you possibly just draw out a LIST of the pros & cons of Brexit?
        Your self indulgent bla bla bla only promotes asphyxia, please stop.

      • When my children were very young I used to take them to the cinema. After the film they would always ask me what score would I give it out of ten. If the film was really crap I would think of giving it 1 or 2 but they would then ask me what were the 9 or 8 things wrong with it. I would struggle to list 9 or 8 different things and would be tempted to make things up just to answer the question. There were obviously good reasons and bad reasons in the list and I would have to explain them. You could get caught out on the less than convincing ones.

        Like the advice given to students writing essays – don’t list 5 bad reasons for something instead of one good one and don’t dilute the one good reason by adding rubbish ones.

        Giving a list for not doing Brexit is something like this and giving ‘good’ reasons for Brexit is an invitation to join those who like their politics simple; arguments such as ‘the EU is capitalist’, as indeed it is.

        A list of reasons on their own do not make a coherent case and argument. These reasons may be related to one another in ways that a simple list could not capture and only such an argument would, in my view, be convincing (or not as the case may be). I therefore believe in presenting arguments and I can only apologise if this induces asphyxia. In any case you appear to have survived.

        You may be pleased to learn that my children proved themselves smarter than their father because when I gave a film 8, even though it was crap, they would then ask me what were the 8 reasons it wasn’t crap.

        If you consider this answer self indulgent and more bla bla bla I can only apologise once more.

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