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The left should focus on transforming the Eu…

Leave and Remain are both distractions from the much more fundamental problem: one can leave the EU, but one cannot leave capitalism.

The left-wing case for Brexit suffers from two basic contradictions. The first concerns its view of the EU. According to one reading of it, the EU is too strong – so strong that without a radical break with the Union, we are told, all projects of socialist renewal are doomed to fail.

According to another reading, the EU is not strong enough to prevent the departure of member states and undermine socialism altogether. It could not withstand the kind of radical democratic agenda that would succeed if the process of leaving the EU were controlled by the left rather than the right.

The second basic contradiction concerns democracy. The left-wing case for Brexit is both democracy enhancing and democracy suppressing. It is enhancing because the vote for Brexit can be read as a vote of popular empowerment against both technocratic neoliberalism and the unaccountable centralisation of power in Brussels.

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