Socialist Worker

Establishment Remain and Leave campaigns ramp up fear, lies and racism

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2505

Cameron and Johnson are tearing lumps out of each other

Cameron and Johnson are tearing lumps out of each other

The European Union (EU) referendum Remain campaign ramped up its attempts to frighten people with lies and wild claims this week.

Tory chancellor George Osborne said leaving the EU would tip Britain into a year-long “DIY recession” with up to 820,000 jobs lost over two years.

This comes from the man who has presided over half a decade of recession and stagnation and slashed over 600,000 public sector jobs.

Former chiefs of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and B&Q were also wheeled out to warn that leaving could have a “catastrophic” impact on the economy.

Meanwhile the official Leave campaign, headed by Tory Michael Gove, has disgustingly pumped out more racist propaganda.

On Monday it released a poster with a British passport, shown as an open door with footprints leading through it. The slogan reads, “Turkey (population 76 million) is joining the EU. Vote leave.”

The Vote Leave campaign said, “We can expect to see an additional million people added to the UK population from Turkey alone within eight years.

“This will not only increase the strain on Britain’s public services, but it will also create a number of threats to UK security.


“Because of the EU’s free movement laws, the government will not be able to exclude Turkish criminals from entering the UK.”

This was backed up with the absurd claims that if Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia join the EU, “it will bring 12,726,000 guns into the single market”.

Such attacks encourage racism towards migrants in general—and Turkish and Kurdish people in particular. They must be opposed.

The socialist Leave campaign, Lexit (see pages 14 and 15), utterly rejects this racism.

It underlines the need for an anti-racist, internationalist and anti-capitalist approach to pull those against the EU leftwards.


In contrast to the Vote Leave tirade, a recent joint statement by the RMT, Aslef and Bfawu unions said, “Unlike Ukip and others we don’t believe Britain should be an island unto itself.

“Our country, and indeed many countries, are nations of immigrants. We want everyone to get a fair rate for the job and everyone to have the same rights at work.

“We don’t support fortress Britain and so we don’t support Fortress Europe. We profoundly regret children and families fleeing poverty, persecution and war not being allowed into Europe.”

The Tories’ splits last week forced David Cameron to back a parliamentary motion seeking to protect the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

This is a trade deal between the EU and the US that is being negotiated secretly. But the amendment does not mean the government has to take legal action to exempt the NHS from TTIP.

TTIP remains a threat—it is another reason why it’s right to vote Leave.

For meetings for a left campaign against the EU go to and

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