My letter published in the Morning Star today.

Dear Editor

Regarding the EU referendum, I know there are quite a few on the Left who will vote Leave. They reject the EU’s neoliberal, elitist, austerity agenda. I get that, and have some sympathy with those arguments.But if we vote to leave I don’t think anyone anywhere will see it as a grand gesture from the left and a desire for more socialism in the world. Rather, it will be perceived plain and simple as an endorsement of the Brexiteers’ neoliberal xenophobic agenda. They wanted this referendum, and they are leading the campaign. Whatever the Eurosceptic left does will, I fear, just not be noticed.

Who is leading the Leave campaign? Michael Gove and Boris Johnson – who for the last six years have been part of a government that has hammered the poor and the disabled, legislated against trade unions and social housing, and mismanaged the economy so badly that even the OECD is now begging them to give up their failed austerity and start investing in the economy. It is these people who are now claiming – incredibly – to be champions of the workers and the poor, and blaming immigrants for just about everything. A Leave vote will in large part be seen as support for them.
There is no third option on the ballot paper. If you vote to Leave, you are validating a right wing campaign, primed by decades of misleading media stories. You’ll be endorsing everything they stand for.

And who on the continent will be celebrating if we go for Brexit? Not our socialist brothers and sisters who want us to stay – but the likes of Pegida and the Front National. Who wants to give the fascists any cause for celebration?
I know the EU needs reform – that’s why I welcome the Another Europe Is Possible campaign. It is perhaps ironic that it is only the left now who can save this European project.

Yours
Doina Cornell