Don Flynn reports on the launch of AEIP as a vital socialist response to Brexit
Another Europe is Possible has grown since its foundation back in 2016 from a small network of internationalist-minded individuals to an impressive organisation with the backing of over 13,000 subscription-paying supporters at the present time.
Though with a sizeable overlap of support from people aligned with the Corbynite Momentum, its backing is not confined to members of the Labour Party. Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party in England and Wales, is a frequent participant in its events. Left Unity also backs its initiatives and campaigns.
The AEIP network brings together that swathe of the left which is committed to the ‘reform and remain’ stance in the current debate over Brexit. This is not a narrow current. There is scope for disputes between people who tend to be uncritical of the European Union, who repeat its claims for a unique role in securing peace across the continent and upholding human rights, and others more inclined to see it as a ‘rich man’s club’ but at least having the potential for change.
The organisation continued its evolution to a more structured entity with a democratic constitution and a leadership team at its first national general meeting which took place in London on 8th December. A couple of hundred AEIP members gathered for discussion which centred on the current state of the Brexit saga and the role taken by the Labour Party leadership. By the end of the day the assembled membership had adopted a strategy paper and a constitution which provided for the election of a 16-member executive committee. Highlights of the discussion included contributions by Emiliano Mellino of the gig economy’s nemesis, the largely immigrant Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, Molly Scott Cato, a Green Party MEP, and Guardian journalist Zoe Williams, Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Chartist EB member Marina Prentoulis.
The speakers welcomed the revival of political activist moods across the UK and saw this as having the potential to support a radical government of the left at some point in the future. The main challenge at the present time was to confront the delusions being sown by the supporters of Brexit, both in the form of the right-wing nationalist rhetoric being generated by the Tory party, but also the naïve leftism of the advocates of ‘Lexit’.
Another Europe has been making its pitch through an impressive website – https://www.anothereurope.org/ – which features opinion pieces, news items and video blogs which aim to make the case for its ‘remain and reform’ position. Supporters are also urged to get active in campaigns which share its concerns for an internationalist response to contemporary challenges. Foremost among these is its defence of freedom of movement for people – one of the most important rights directly threatened by Brexit.
AEIP’s ‘remain and reform’ message is a response not just to the Tory version of Brexit which is the immediate threat, but also to the version of socialism which believes that the working class can achieve its emancipation within the high enclosing walls of a reinvigorated national state. Its alternative vision sees socialism arising from acts of resistance to capitalism and its crises that extend across national borders and aims to mobilise the power of a working class that is truly international. If it is to achieve any degree of success in the coming months it will need to show that its principled internationalism does translate as a practical programme of action for new cohorts of working people as they enter into struggles to defend jobs and wages and the gains of the welfare state.
NOTE: This article was edited on 21st January to correct the date of the AEIP conference. The article originally stated it was held on 8th January.