As a result of the Brexit deadlock, the country now faces European Parliament elections on Thursday (23 May). We urge PCS members to take part in the elections and have your say.
PCS has expressed concern in the past over the use of these elections by UKIP and other parties to spread a climate of fear and prejudice in the country. This concern has been shared by the TUC who have issued the following statement in conjunction with over 30 organisations.
Members will have a range of views on Europe and what this election represents, but, however you voted in the Brexit referendum, we can agree that hate speech and fear have no place in the democratic process.
In this election a new party is standing – the Brexit party – set up by Nigel Farage, the previous leader of Ukip. In 2016 PCS issued a statement on Ukip which pointed out that the party and its leaders played on fears about immigration in communities across the country. This is despite the fact that the underlying causes of low wages and insecure jobs are predatory employers, deregulated labour markets and the decrease in trade union rights and freedoms, rather than being a result of immigration.
Ukip, and now the Brexit party, are on the side of the rich and powerful in society, not ordinary working people. Nigel Farage has said his political hero is Enoch Powell, the Tory MP who argued that immigration would lead to violence in his notorious “rivers of blood” speech in 1968. Ukip is full of ex-bankers, Farage is a millionaire former stockbroker, and the party is funded by fellow millionaires, land owners and wealthy business people.
Their policies would see further attacks on public services, lower wages and the NHS sold to the highest bidder. They propose 'tens of billions' of cuts to taxation on the wealthy, the removal of rules that prevent tax avoidance by big companies and a further £77 billion of cuts to the public sector in order to reduce the deficit.
Mark Serwotka PCS general secretary said: “PCS is concerned that a large vote for Farage and his Brexit party will lead to an increase in anti-migrant prejudice and racism. I urge all PCS members to cast their votes for parties that stand up against the climate of fear that some are promoting in this election.
“PCS believes we need a general election and a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government to bring an end to austerity. Whether you voted leave or remain you are effected by the cuts this government has imposed on civil and public sector workers and our wider community.”