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About the UK's withdrawal from the European Union

By staff |
February 3, 2020
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Jan. 31 statement from the Portuguese Communist Party.

The United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union is an event of great importance for the people of the United Kingdom, a fundamental change in the framework of relations between States in the European continent, and the only outcome that guarantees respect for the sovereign will of the British people, expressed in the 2016 referendum.

This important event is inseparable from, and simultaneously an expression of, the contradictions and deep crisis of the European capitalist integration, which increasingly reveals itself in conflict with the peoples' interests and aspirations, increasingly exhausted and incapable of answering the economic, social and political problems affecting various countries in the European continent.

The UK's withdrawal from the European Union represents a serious setback to the theories of inevitability and irreversibility of the European Union; a defeat for all those who tried – through unacceptable pressures, blackmail and maneuvering, in both the European Union and the United Kingdom– to counter the sovereign decision of the British people.

PCP expresses doubts, disagreements and concerns about the terms of the UK Withdrawal Agreement, inseparable from the mould and impositions of the Treaties, the political and ideological nature of the forces that negotiated the Agreement, and the long process of interference and blackmail at the origin of its shortcomings, weaknesses and constraints, and which do not answer the legitimate aspirations and interests of the British people, but rather try impose solutions that keep that country bound by European Union policies.

However, and despite the profound contradictions that have arisen and that continue to mark the social and political situation in the United Kingdom – many of which are the result of pressure and interference from the European Union – PCP underlines that the decision of the British people now realized constitutes a victory over fear, submission and catastrophism, thus representing an additional element in the struggle for another Europe of workers and peoples.

PCP salutes and expresses its solidarity with the communists and other British progressive forces who have never given up affirming and defending an alternative progressive project for the UK to leave the EU and who, in this new framework, defend the rights and aspirations of British workers and people and fight, like PCP, for an alternative framework of relationship between sovereign states in Europe, respecting the sovereignty and rights of peoples.

PCP reaffirms its commitment to fight against all attempts and manoeuvres that, under the pretext of a “reinforced Union of 27” and the supposed consequences of the UK's withdrawal, seek new attacks on workers' rights and the sovereignty of States, the deepening of the neoliberal and militaristic pillars of the European Union, and an even greater asymmetry and concentration of power in the supranational sphere and in the Franco-German axis.

PCP affirms its intention to continue to closely monitor all issues related to the rights of the Portuguese to work and reside in the United Kingdom, and reiterates that the Portuguese Government must resolutely intervene, with the authorities of the United Kingdom and the European Union, to ensure the defense of their legitimate rights – among which, the right of residence, the right to equal treatment, the right of access to public health care and education services, the right to social security benefits, the right to family reunification, the mutual recognition of academic qualifications and professional qualifications.

PCP considers that the Portuguese Government should take the necessary initiatives to ensure the development of mutually advantageous bilateral relations between Portugal and the United Kingdom, within the framework of respect for the sovereignty and equal rights of each country and the rights and aspirations of the Portuguese and British people. Therefore, PCP considers that the defense of the interests of the Portuguese people, and of the Portuguese community in the United Kingdom, should not be constrained or jeopardized by any impositions or conditions from the European Union, namely in the context of a future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

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