The Myopia of Left-wing Brexiteers
Is there a left-wing case for Brexit? Euroskeptics of the left, advocating for a “Lexit,” point out that the European Union suffers from a major democratic deficit (just ask Greece), and its neoliberal commitments, such as the free movement of capital, undermine state-level social and economic reforms. Still, leaving the EU will not magically make “socialism in one country” a reality, let alone a more real possibility. Besides empowering the reactionary right-wing, the most vocal base for Brexit in the first place, departure would mean the immediate loss of vital social and environmental protections and a hardening of borders against people, not just capital. Moreover, the project of the left has always been an internationalist (or anti-nationalist) one, and the intertwined global crises we face—from skyrocketing inequality to climate change—demand more, not less, supranational cooperation. Certainly, the EU design, rooted in neoliberal ideology, is no model for global democracy. But staying in and fighting to make it one is the progressive imperative for the good of Britain and the whole world.