Brexit

Boris Johnson premiership deepens Brexit crisis and heralds bitter class conflict

By Robert Stevens, 24 July 2019

Despite Johnson’s boast that he will “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn,” his position is precarious.

UK: Domestic row seized on in effort to block Boris Johnson premiership

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 25 June 2019

Reports indicate that up to 12 Tory MPs are contemplating voting against a government led by Johnson if a no-confidence motion is brought by the Labour Party.

European election debacle for Conservatives and Labour

By Robert Stevens, 28 May 2019

The ruling Conservatives have suffered their worst ever election result, while Labour suffered a debacle almost as bad.

UK Prime Minister May to quit as Conservative leader June 7

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2019

May came to lead the country in 2016 as a hated figure and leaves it as a despised political failure.

The rise of the Brexit Party and how to fight it

By Chris Marsden, 23 May 2019

Nigel Farage is intent on portraying the European elections, which will see a massive abstention, as a plebiscite on Brexit and a weapon against any move towards a second referendum.

George Galloway tried to become Brexit Party candidate—and failed

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2019

Galloway’s failed attempt to represent Nigel Farage’s party is indicative of how an entire layer of ex-Stalinists and the pseudo-left have become part of a new right.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

George Galloway declares for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2019

Having spent over three years hailing Corbyn as the left rebirth of Labour, Galloway now parrots the claim that Farage’s politics articulate the views of the working class on what he insists is the main issue of the day—Brexit.

Six-month Brexit extension resolves nothing for UK

By Robert Stevens, 12 April 2019

At best the European Union have kicked the can down the road, with no guarantees of a resolution.

EU summit considers extension of Brexit deadline

By Robert Stevens, 10 April 2019

In another public humiliation, UK Prime Minister Theresa May met separately with the German Chancellor and French President, hoping to secure the backing of the EU’s two heavyweight powers.

The political implications of the Corbyn/May Brexit talks

By Chris Marsden, 5 April 2019

The talks on an alternative Brexit deal between UK Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn decisively refute all claims that his election as leader of the Labour Party offered a way forward for working people.

May offers Corbyn “national unity” Brexit agreement talks

By Chris Marsden, 3 April 2019

After accepting talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would hold “in reserve” a no-confidence vote in her government.

British MPs again fail to reach agreement on alternative Brexit motions

By Robert Stevens, 2 April 2019

None of the four non-binding “indicative votes” on an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated withdrawal agreement for Brexit secured a majority vote by MPs Monday night.

Class struggle and socialism are the only answer to the Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 1 April 2019

The answer to the Brexit crisis is a united mobilization of the millions of workers coming into struggle against Europe’s governments.

“No deal” Brexit threatened after May’s EU withdrawal agreement rejected for third time

By Robert Stevens, 30 March 2019

Labour’s nominally “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn is working to ensure that the gravest peacetime crisis in the history of British imperialism is resolved through the worm-eaten parliamentary system, with the working class left as spectators.

Parliament rejects all alternatives as May’s offer to resign fails to stem Brexit crisis

By Robert Stevens, 28 March 2019

May’s pledge to resign is her last card in the attempt to convince the Tories’ hard-Brexit wing and the Democratic Unionist Party to back her European Union withdrawal agreement.

British parliament to make “indicative votes” in an attempt to overcome Brexit impasse

By Robert Stevens, 27 March 2019

MPs may indeed have formally taken control of the next stage of the Brexit crisis, but any positions arrived at in today’s votes are not legally binding on the government.

Anti-Brexit “Put it to the People” march mobilises hundreds of thousands

By Robert Stevens, 25 March 2019

The Socialist Equality Party was the only political party at the rally advancing a perspective for the political independence of the working class.

“Brexit is a shambles—it will affect so many people in many ways”

By our reporters, 25 March 2019

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site spoke to demonstrators at Saturday’s anti-Brexit protest in London.

Answer Brexit with the struggle for socialism throughout Europe!

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 23 March 2019

Far from trusting their fate to Merkel, Macron, Juncker and Tusk, those protesting today must ally themselves with the European working class now waging political and social battles against the EU and its member state governments.

European Union leaders grant May extra time to pass Brexit deal in UK parliament

By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2019

The EU has agreed a plan allowing a delay of Brexit to May 22 on condition that UK MPs approve the deal the EU agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May by the previous official exit date of March 29.

May asks Brussels for Brexit extension amid worsening political crisis

By Chris Marsden, 20 March 2019

If May’s extension is rejected by Brussels at a summit on Thursday, Brexit is set for March 29, in just nine days.

Corbyn props up May government after more Brexit vote defeats

By Robert Stevens, 16 March 2019

Ever since May took office as a minority dependent on the DUP, she has headed a government of permanent crisis, with her survival dependent on Labour leader Corbyn’s suppression of the class struggle amid a rising tide of anti-Tory sentiment.

UK: May’s Brexit deal rejected by parliament again

By Robert Stevens, 13 March 2019

With just 16 days to go before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, no deal has been agreed on trading relations after Brexit.

UK Labour leader Corbyn endorses Blairite call for second Brexit referendum

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2019

This week’s events signify that the Blairites have de facto total control over party policy, just over three years after they were annihilated by Corbyn in the leadership contest.

Brexit divisions lead to intensified discussions on Conservative and Labour Party splits

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2019

Theresa May suffered a further defeat in Parliament over her Brexit policy, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was further undermined by a sizeable rebellion by the party’s Blairite right wing.

British government’s “Project After” plan for post-Brexit economic crisis

By Steve James, 13 February 2019

The Financial Times reported on a secret economic planning group in the British government, tasked with planning for a deep post Brexit economic crisis.

Brexit, Free Ports and the super-exploitation of the working class

By Steve James, 4 February 2019

Both Tory and Labour politicians support new Free Port deregulation zones.

UK’s May fends off demands to delay Brexit or rule out “no deal”

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 30 January 2019

May’s pledge to try to extract more concessions from the EU ensured that the government won the day, although this could prove to be a pyrrhic and very short-lived victory.

Leaks expose UK and EU government plans for military deployment in Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2019

Under conditions of intolerable levels of social inequality that will be exacerbated no matter the Brexit outcome, the power of the state will be directed against the true source of social discontent—the working class.

UK: Remain and Leave factions line up for battle prior to next Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2019

Theresa May is calculating that enough rebel Brexiteers in her ruling Conservative Party, who voted against her original deal, will support her to ensure no possibility of Brexit being overturned.

The Brexit crisis and the struggle for socialism

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2019

The answer to austerity is not a pro-capitalist Labour government dedicated to rebuilding “national unity” across the Brexit divide, but the unification of workers in Britain with the working class across the continent in the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe.

UK: Corbyn endorses second referendum after May stonewalls on her Brexit plan

By Chris Marsden, 22 January 2019

With just 67 days before Brexit is scheduled to take place on March 29, Corbyn has once again folded his hand and united with his right-wing.

British PM May to reveal “Plan B” as Brexit infighting continues

By Robert Stevens, 21 January 2019

The various options being debated are solely concerned with securing the strategic interests of British imperialism.

Factional warfare hots up after collapse of May’s European Union Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2019

Led by the Blairite wing of the Labour, Pro-Remain politicians calculated that the decks would now be cleared for them to campaign for a second “People’s Vote” to overturn the 2016 referendum.

UK: Blairites spearhead campaign to commit Labour to remaining in the European Union

By Thomas Scripps, 18 January 2019

The Blairites are opposed to a general election and aim to block Brexit without letting what is nominally their own party under Corbyn anywhere near power.

Theresa May’s Conservative government survives no-confidence vote

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 17 January 2019

What should have been a day of reckoning for May turned out to be a humiliating verdict on every capitulation made by Labour leader Corbyn to his party’s right wing since he became leader in September 2015.

UK parliament votes down Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 16 January 2019

In response to the resounding rejection of May’s proposal, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a vote of no confidence for Wednesday.

UK parliament to vote on Brexit deal today

By Chris Marsden, 15 January 2019

The fight over Brexit revolves around the best means of advancing the interests of British imperialism for control of global markets.

British prime minister suffers second defeat at hands of pro-European Union MPs

By Robert Stevens, 10 January 2019

The vote was the second defeat of the government in less than 24 hours as a result of pro-Remain Tories blocking with the opposition parties.

Debate begins in British parliament over May’s Brexit deal with EU

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2019

May is using the growing possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit, with its unforetold economic and social consequences, to pressure Brussels for more and to force MPs to back her deal.

Military prepare for post-Brexit civil war in Britain and Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 8 January 2019

Preparations involve 50,000 troops in mainland Britain and 1,000 more police in Northern Ireland—close to half the current size of the British Army and more than the force sent by the government to invade Iraq.

UK: Cross-party moves escalate to prevent Brexit and secure second referendum

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2018

Amid an unprecedented crisis of rule, Corbyn’s major concern is to preserve the unity of the Labour Party on the basis that only a Labour government can rescue British imperialism.

UK government announces draconian Brexit immigration policy and deployment of troops

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2018

With the working class unable to articulate its own independent interests, a crisis-ridden Tory government is moving to rapidly enact its reactionary Brexit agenda.

Corbyn, Brexit and the struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 December 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has cast himself as a guarantor of national stability, denouncing the inability of May and the Conservatives to “end the chaos.”

UK: May staggers on as more than a third of Tory MPs oppose her

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2018

The vote against her by her hard-Brexit wing, combined with the loss of support from the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, confirms that May’s days are numbered.

UK: May faces possible leadership contest after seeking concessions from EU on Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 12 December 2018

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday once again insisted that he would not call a vote of no confidence—allowing the crisis ridden Conservative government to stagger on.

May delays Brexit vote while Corbyn refuses to move no confidence motion

By Chris Marsden, 11 December 2018

May called off today’s scheduled vote because she knew her proposed agreement with the EU would be heavily defeated.

Parliamentary debate on Brexit deal begins after three defeats for May government

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2018

Whatever happens in the Brexit crisis, Britain is in the grip of a historic crisis of rule that threatens to unleash social upheavals.

British PM May attacked from all sides ahead of parliament Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 28 November 2018

As it stands there is no parliamentary arithmetic under which May can get the Brexit deal passed.

The only answer to Brexit is the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 19 November 2018

Every faction of Britain’s ruling elite—whether pro- or anti-EU membership or urging some form of continued relations—is viciously opposed to the interests of the working class.

Some of the main provisions of the draft EU-UK proposed Brexit deal

By our reporter, 16 November 2018

The 585-page document includes a legal guarantee to ensure the Irish border remains open after Brexit, with the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU until a broader EU-UK trade deal can be finalised.

Brexit deal threatens survival of May government

By Robert Stevens, 16 November 2018

Prime Minister May has been brought face to face with the full implications of the growing antagonisms between the US and Europe.

British prime minister tries to minimise cabinet rebellion against draft Brexit agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 November 2018

So acute is the crisis facing May’s government that sections of the ruling class and the state apparatus are factoring in the possibility that a general election might be unavoidable, and that a Corbyn government is becoming a distinct possibility.

UK: May fends off challenge by hard-Brexiteers

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2018

That May, who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum, was able to seize the day reflects a pronounced shift in ruling circles, who cannot countenance a hard Brexit.

People’s Vote campaign ups ante against hard Brexit with large London protest

By Robert Stevens, 22 October 2018

The campaign in support of a second referendum on British membership of the EU is a cross-party initiative with significant support and funding from the political and corporate elite.

British PM addresses EU summit as “no deal” Brexit threatened

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2018

With the government in turmoil, Labour is advancing itself as a responsible representative of the British ruling elite.

Brexit crisis leaves fate of May government in balance

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2018

If the May government fails to secure an EU deal without precipitating a pro-Brexit Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rebellion, a general election might result, bringing a Jeremy Corbyn Labour-led government to power.

Risk of no-deal Brexit staggers European companies and economy

By Alex Lantier, 5 October 2018

With mass layoffs prepared in auto firms, plans in ruling circles are well advanced to place the cost of any Brexit crisis firmly on the backs of workers internationally.

Auto manufacturers in UK cut production, threaten jobs as Brexit crisis deepens

By Margot Miller, 27 September 2018

The UK car industry faces massive disruption if the government fails to agree unfettered access to the EU single market, with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs threatened.

UK Labour conference passes Brexit motion with option for “people’s vote”

By Thomas Scripps, 26 September 2018

Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, speaking for the Blairites and dominant sections of British business, sees the latest compromise as a step toward committing Labour to retaining membership of the EU.

EU summit marked by Brexit threats and ultimatums

By Chris Marsden, 22 September 2018

Theresa May's address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.”

Labour’s John McDonnell embraces Blairite “new economy” plan

By Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2018

Labour’s endorsement of the IPPR plan makes clear that, behind the talk about governing “for the many, not the few,” Corbyn and his allies are adopting trade war policies.

What is behind the talk of a Brexit “national emergency”?

By Julie Hyland, 3 August 2018

Underlying the febrile atmosphere that has developed since the Brexit referendum vote are explosive class tensions.

Brexit crisis prompts calls for national unity government

By Robert Stevens, 21 July 2018

The call for a national unity coalition seeks to address fears that May’s downfall could end in the election of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

UK: May government in meltdown over Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 18 July 2018

May’s attempted compromise over Brexit has blown up, due not simply to events in Britain, but also to the antagonisms between the US and Europe.

Concerted efforts to save May’s government and the chance of a “soft Brexit”

By Chris Marsden, 11 July 2018

US President Trump has made no secret of his hostility to the EU and desire to weaken what he considers a rival trade bloc, including by supporting Brexit and imposing sanctions.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns to prepare possible Conservative leadership challenge

By Chris Marsden, 10 July 2018

Unlike David Davis, who stressed that he remained loyal to Theresa May, Johnson quit in a manner designed to inflict maximum damage to the prime minister.

Resignation of Brexit secretary David Davis prompts talk of leadership contest, British general election

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 July 2018

Fear of triggering a general election is all that continues to hold the Tory party together, such is the depth of the rift over Europe.

EU citizens must register, carry ID cards, in post-Brexit Britain

By Steve James, 27 June 2018

As the Home Office scheme currently stands, EU citizens will be required to carry identity cards, which have never been enforced in Britain.

Britain’s Tory government offers concession to pro-EU MPs to advance Brexit bill

By Robert Stevens, 21 June 2018

With the May government beholden to its pro-Brexit wing, there is a stepped-up effort to use Labour as the political vehicle for preventing Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Brexit crisis intensifies as “Remain” Tories reject bogus compromise on parliament having “meaningful vote”

By Chris Marsden, 15 June 2018

Divisions within the Tories were matched by those in Labour, as 90 Labour MPs rebelled against leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Brexit constitutional stand-off reaches UK Supreme Court

By Steve James, 9 June 2018

The escalation of tensions risks becoming a conflict not only between England, Scotland and Wales, but between London and Brussels.

House of Lords Brexit revolt hits Conservatives and Labour

By Paul Mitchell, 10 May 2018

Theresa May’s Conservative government suffered another defeat in the House of Lords on Tuesday, as peers voted for an amendment to the European Union withdrawal bill.

UK: Brexit divisions threaten government defeat

By Chris Marsden, 28 April 2018

The prime minister is under pressure from both sides of her party to clarify her position on the customs union, the mechanism allowing goods to be transported tariff-free between European Union member states.

UK: May government declares against customs union as Brexit crisis intensifies

By Robert Stevens, 25 April 2018

Support for the customs union from a sizable cross-party faction is a stalking horse aimed at ensuring the UK remains in the Single Market and possibly reversing Brexit entirely.

Claims by Cambridge Analytica whistleblower used for new electoral investigation into Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 3 April 2018

The Electoral Commission’s latest investigation testifies to the deep tensions within the British bourgeoisie over Brexit.

UK-EU draft deal pleases neither side of ruling elite’s Brexit divide

By Chris Marsden, 21 March 2018

Struck against the background of demands for action against Russia, the agreement gave expression to rising antagonisms between the UK and its European rivals.

Theresa May’s Brexit speech gets short shrift from European Union

By Chris Marsden, 3 March 2018

Despite her conciliatory tone, May failed to meet EU demands to flesh out what her government means by “ambitious managed diversion.”

Draft EU Brexit agreement deepens divisions over Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 2 March 2018

The European powers’ draft, put together in consultation with the Irish government, is an aggressive response to British maneuvers.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn slithers toward sellout

By Chris Marsden, 1 March 2018

Corbyn’s speech expresses the role that would be played by any future Labour government, under conditions where a deepening Tory crisis could hasten a general election.

As May faces leadership challenge, Corbyn and Labour make Brexit pitch to employers’ groups

By Chris Marsden, 2 February 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met privately with the leaders of the major employers’ organisations, including the Confederation of British Industry, Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Business to discuss Brexit.

EU summit agrees talks will move forward, but Brexit crisis continues

By Chris Marsden, 16 December 2017

Guidelines issued for the UK on Brexit stipulate that it must adopt all new European Union laws created during the transition period, while being excluded from any decision-making role.

Brexit crisis deepens after Tory revolt on eve of EU summit

By Chris Marsden, 15 December 2017

The parliamentary defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May has been hailed as proof of a majority for a “soft Brexit”—preserving at all costs full access to the Single European Market.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.

Former UK minister indicates Brexit referendum “deal” between Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2017

According to Ken Clarke, Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Murdoch’s British arm, News International, said she was “running the government now in partnership with David Cameron.”

Proposed Brexit deal blocked by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2017

The May government has failed to reach an agreement with the European Union after seven months of acrimonious talks.

Political turmoil over Ireland’s post-Brexit status escalates

By Steve James, 28 November 2017

Northern Ireland has not had a functioning government for months. Now the government in the Republic of Ireland faces collapse.

UK Electoral Commission investigates Leave campaign finances in Brexit referendum

By Julie Hyland, 25 November 2017

The UK Electoral Commission is investigating whether the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum on British membership of the European Union breached its £7 million spending limit.

May’s Conservative government faces possible collapse over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 11 November 2017

European Union officials have let it be known that they are making contingency plans based on Prime Minister Theresa May not surviving beyond the end of this year.

Rift deepens between Britain and European Union as talks reach no agreement

By Robert Stevens, 19 October 2017

EU leaders will today inform British Prime Minister Theresa May that after five rounds of negotiations over the terms of its exit from the EU, the UK needs to make further concessions.

Row over Brexit punctures myth of unity behind Corbyn at Labour Party conference

By Robert Stevens, 27 September 2017

The conference vote on Brexit took on surreal elements, being held on the same day that it was announced that the beginning of a fourth round of talks between the UK and the EU again broke up without agreement.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale quits

By Steve James, 25 September 2017

Dugdale’s career points to the hollowed-out character of Labour and leader Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to wage a struggle against the party’s right-wing.

May’s overtures to European Union on Brexit terms falls flat

By Robert Stevens, 23 September 2017

While Conservative Prime Minister May’s speech in Florence was flagged as bridge building with the European Union over Brexit, not a single EU leader or representative was present.

UK wields military and security cooperation as a weapon in Brexit negotiations

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2017

The British government’s position paper on the terms of its exit from the EU stresses the UK’s role as the second military power in NATO, to underline the implicit threat that it will withdraw military and defence co-operation with the bloc.

UK parliament approves sweeping executive powers under Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 13 September 2017

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, incorporating European Union (EU) legislation into British law, passed its second reading in parliament early Tuesday morning.

UK: Tony Blair calls for anti-immigration policies to stop Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2017

The former Labour prime minister called for EU nationals without work in the UK to be barred from renting homes, opening bank accounts and receiving health care.

Labour will seek to block Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 7 September 2017

As parliament begins its debate today on the second reading of the so-called Great Repeal bill, the Labour Party officially announced it will vote against.

No progress in UK- European Union talks over Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 5 September 2017

The European Union insists there can be no progress to discussion on future relations without Britain settling its “divorce” bill first.

Corbyn and Labour backtrack on Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 30 August 2017

The Financial Times welcomed Labour’s support for continued membership of the European Union Single Market, saying that it put the party “firmly on the side of business.”