The UK Brexit Referendum

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.”

Brexit crisis tearing apart UK’s Conservative Party

By Chris Marsden, 22 July 2017

The political turmoil and economic dislocation surrounding Brexit has dramatically undermined the authority of Britain’s rulers, not only in Brussels but also in the eyes of millions of workers.

All-party pro-European Union group formed by UK Labour’s Chuka Umunna

By Chris Marsden, 13 July 2017

The formation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on European Union Relations comes prior to the moving of the Great Repeal Bill concerning Britain's exit from the European Union.

UK: Conservatives seek toxic alliance with Democratic Unionist Party

By Steve James, 24 June 2017

The DUP’s current policy is to extract as many concessions as possible to offset the catastrophic economic impact of Brexit, while maintaining Northern Ireland’s position in the UK.

Exit talks begin between UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 20 June 2017

Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis and Michel Bernier of the European Union launched negotiations Monday on the terms of Britain’s exit from the trade bloc.

Corbyn makes his appeal to become Britain’s next prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2017

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gave his response to the Manchester suicide bombing yesterday, amid the further unravelling of the government’s narrative of the attack.

UK Conservative manifesto outlines stepped up austerity and militarism

By Robert Stevens, 22 May 2017

The commitment to Britain’s exit from the European Union is a pledge to proceed with intensified attacks on the working class.

NATO requests UK troops for US-led surge in Afghanistan

By Paul Mitchell, 11 May 2017

The Stoltenberg-May talks confirm that behind the official reasons given for the calling of a snap general election, one of its central aims is to further the UK’s war agenda in alliance with US imperialism.

Prime Minister May accuses EU of meddling in UK election

By Chris Marsden, 4 May 2017

May’s accusation that the EU is interfering in the UK election in language hitherto reserved for Vladimir Putin testifies to an escalation of hostilities with Europe.

European Union issues hard-line Brexit negotiating strategy

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2017

Under the guidelines, discussions on trade between the EU and the UK can only proceed after the divorce payment and agreement on other terms of Britain’s EU exit.

Ahead of EU Brexit summit, Merkel takes tough stance on UK

By Johannes Stern, 29 April 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the UK “will not have the same rights and cannot expect to be treated better than a member of the European Union.”

Labour outlines pro-business “soft Brexit” policy for June 8 vote

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2017

Labour's preoccupation is satisfying the concerns expressed by the majority of Britain’s bourgeoisie, which supported Remain and whose interests are tied to the EU.

Leading ministers outline war agenda behind UK’s snap general election

By Chris Marsden, 22 April 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May’s calling of a general election is an attempt to shape post-Brexit politics based on an agenda of trade and military war.

UK parliament votes for snap June 8 general election

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2017

In calling the election, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to expand her government’s majority by exploiting the crisis facing Labour.

Snap UK general election called amid continuing Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 19 April 2017

Events in Britain are unfolding at a time of a build-up to a possible US war against North Korea and unending anti-Russian propaganda.

Aggressive claims by Spain helped provoke Gibraltar flare-up with Britain

By Alejandro López, 6 April 2017

Sections of the Spanish ruling class have calculated that Brexit offers Spain an opportunity not only to reclaim Gibraltar but also to possibly become Washington’s new strategic ally in Europe.

The UK’s Great Repeal Bill: A bonfire of workers’ rights

By Julie Hyland, 1 April 2017

The bill is framed to meet the demands of banks and big business to end all regulation of their predatory activities.

Triggering of Brexit intensifies national tensions in Europe

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2017

Representatives of the EU and the continent’s major powers reacted with undisguised hostility to Prime Minister Theresa May’s triggering of the Article 50 process.

UK officially begins process of exiting the European Union

By Chris Marsden, 30 March 2017

The centrifugal forces tearing apart the EU reveal the failure of any attempt to overcome, within the framework of the capitalist system, the national antagonisms that gave rise to two world wars.

UK government to trigger Brexit amid calls for second Scottish independence vote

By Chris Marsden, 15 March 2017

As the Tory government presses on with its plans to leave the EU, the United Kingdom could itself face the same dissolution that threatens the European Union.

Border issues and Brexit dominate Northern Ireland elections

By Steve James, 27 February 2017

The British and Irish governments have insisted that, post-Brexit, no border checks will be imposed, but no one has yet come up with a means to explain how this can be done.

UK Labour Party by-election defeat prompts new moves against Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2017

In the face of a renewed offensive against him by the Labour Party right wing, Corbyn and his key supporters again called for unity with his opponents.

The way forward in the fight against Trump and May

By Chris Marsden, 18 February 2017

The two rival groups organising overlapping rallies on February 20 offer no means to wage a struggle against Trump’s cabinet of billionaires and social reactionaries and May’s pack of baying Thatcherites.

Report co-authored by murdered British MP Jo Cox advocates for war

By Richard Tyler, 11 February 2017

Cox’s brutal murder shocked millions, but her death has been used in the most cynical fashion by the most right-wing forces within the Labour Party.

UK House of Commons approves Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 9 February 2017

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to support the government’s bill whether his party’s amendments were accepted or not.

Theresa May’s White Paper offers no plan for post-Brexit Britain

By Robert Stevens, 4 February 2017

The government promises the best of all possible worlds for British imperialism, with no means of achieving this ambitious goal.

British government secures vote to proceed with Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 2 February 2017

Following the vote, the UK will enter a period of intense political crisis.

UK Labour Party split threatened over Brexit

By Paul Mitchell, 31 January 2017

Political divisions have been brought to the peak of intensity by Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to cultivate relations with the US administration of Donald Trump.

Trump’s meeting with the UK’s Theresa May and the US/European conflict

By Chris Marsden, 27 January 2017

It is a measure of the deterioration in relations between the US and the rest of the world that May’s visit has prompted bitter recriminations from leading voices representing British imperialism.

British Supreme Court rules only Parliament can trigger Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2017

While the Supreme Court came down in favour of Parliament, nothing has been resolved politically by its verdict.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May pledges hard Brexit, threatens trade war

By Chris Marsden, 18 January 2017

May’s aggressive posture is bound up with efforts to forge an economic and political alliance with the incoming administration of Donald Trump in the United States.

Brexit deepens existential crisis of UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 10 January 2017

The row over what relationship the UK will have with the European Union takes place under conditions where its very survival is threatened.

British Labour Party moving to support ending free movement of EU workers

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2017

The Tories and Labour are fighting over which party is more stridently opposed to immigration.

Brexit seized on by Scottish government to mount new power grab

By Steve James, 28 December 2016

The Scottish National Party government are hoping to directly benefit from the Brexit debacle by laying claim to additional powers for the Scottish parliament.

UK: Labour says free movement in Europe must be curtailed post-Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 17 December 2016

Labour’s Keir Starmer called for a “national consensus on Brexit,” with freedom of movement restrictions central to negotiations with the European Union.

UK Supreme Court completes hearing on Brexit procedure

By Robert Stevens, 10 December 2016

Whatever verdict on whether Prime Minister Theresa May has the power to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will only deepen the schism in ruling circles.

UK parliament passes Labour motion calling for government to publish “Brexit plan”

By Robert Stevens, 8 December 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May originally opposed the motion, but was forced to accept it as between 20 and 40 pro-EU Tory rebels were pledged to back Labour.

UK Supreme Court hears opposed arguments on whether Parliament must vote to trigger Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 7 December 2016

The Supreme Court hearing takes place amid an escalating political crisis over Britain’s exiting the European Union, as the EU itself descends ever deeper into chaos.

Supreme Court Brexit hearing begins amid growing divisions in UK ruling circles

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2016

The case stems from the major constitutional and political crisis sparked by the narrow June 23 referendum vote to exit the EU.

UK Independence Party selects new leader as post-Brexit crisis deepens

By Julie Hyland, 2 December 2016

New leader Paul Nuttall’s promotion of anti-immigrant and law-and-order rhetoric is a right-wing populist veneer for the defence of British capital against the working class.

Tony Blair heads new pro-European Union movement

By Chris Marsden, 26 November 2016

Support for a second referendum on the UK’s European Union membership has only minority support in Parliament but cuts across existing party divisions.

Guardian columnist Will Hutton rants against the Brexit “mob”

By Paul Mitchell, 21 November 2016

Hutton’s defence of a political and economic system that is committed to austerity only legitimises UKIP’s demagogic posturing as the voice of the “people” against “the elites.”

Trial of fascist accused of murdering UK Labour MP Jo Cox begins

By Richard Tyler, 19 November 2016

Cox was shot and stabbed multiple times in broad daylight on the way to her MPs surgery.

Irish ruling elite in deep crisis over Brexit

By Steve James, 14 November 2016

The collapse in the value of the pound against the euro is increasing the price of the €4.4 billion in food exports from the Irish republic to Britain.

UK: Corbyn threatens to block Brexit and trigger general election

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 7 November 2016

In portraying the European Single Market as progressive, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is siding with finance capital and big business interests against the working class.

Speculation mounts over snap general election as UK Brexit crisis intensifies

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2016

The High Court ruling that only parliament may trigger Britain’s exit from the EU has spurred collaboration between pro-remain forces committed to overturning the referendum vote to leave.

High Court verdict on EU Brexit plunges UK deeper into crisis

By Julie Hyland, 4 November 2016

The High Court ruled that Parliament alone has the right to trigger Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Scottish National Party pushes for second independence referendum

By Steve James, 25 October 2016

For Sturgeon and the SNP leadership, the threat of a new independence poll is a tool to extract concessions from London—primarily over the terms of Brexit.

Legal challenge to Brexit threatens constitutional crisis in UK

By Robert Stevens, 24 October 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will activate Article 50 by the end of next March.

British press witch-hunt refugee children from Calais

By Robert Stevens, 20 October 2016

A xenophobic campaign by British politicians and media is being waged against children arriving in the UK from the Calais migrant camp.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson maps out post-Brexit agenda

By Robert Stevens, 4 October 2016

Johnson gave a disgusting panegyric to militarism and empire, bragging that Britain “has directed the invasion or conquest of 178 countries” over two centuries.

UK Prime Minister announces timetable for UK exit from European Union

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2016

According to plans put forward by Theresa May, Britain will be out of the European Union by March 2019—a year ahead of a scheduled 2020 General Election.

UK political crisis deepens over Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 10 September 2016

Representatives of the ruling elite who favour EU membership are loudly voicing their concerns that the May government is bereft of any strategy following the Brexit vote.

UK Conservative divisions over Brexit go public once again

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2016

May’s mantra that “Brexit means Brexit” can no longer conceal the air of crisis and paralysis surrounding the government.

US and Japan attack plans for post-Brexit Britain

By Julie Hyland, 5 September 2016

President Obama made plain Washington’s opposition to the UK leaving the EU, while Tokyo warned that Japanese corporations would leave the UK if it went ahead with the move.

Divisions grow over British withdrawal from the European Union

By Robert Stevens, 30 August 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly ruled out a parliamentary vote on “Brexit” before formally triggering withdrawal from the European Union.

Britain: Labour’s National Executive extends purge of party membership

By Robert Stevens, 27 August 2016

Ronnie Draper, the general secretary of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers union and a Labour Party member for 40 years, has been suspended from membership.

Divisions rise inside EU at summit between Germany, France and Italy

By Alex Lantier, 23 August 2016

Amid the escalating crisis unleashed by the Brexit vote, the remaining major EU powers barely succeeded in papering over the divisions between them.

Workers and youth speak on Corbyn and the British Labour Party

By our reporters, 22 August 2016

The <em>World Socialist Web Site</em> interviewed several of those participating in a Sheffield rally called in support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The ruling class and the spectre of Leon Trotsky

By Chris Marsden, 20 August 2016

Seventy-six years after his assassination at the hands of a Stalinist agent, Trotsky remains not only a towering historical personality, but also a figure of acute contemporary political relevance.

UK media denounces Corbyn’s refusal to support war with Russia

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 20 August 2016

Corbyn’s comments occasioned a slew of articles and commentary declaring that he could not be trusted with the reins of power if he were not ready for all-out war.

Britain’s Financial Times calls on anti-Corbyn plotters to prepare Labour split

By Julie Hyland, 20 August 2016

The FT said the Labour right must think “through what a new party of the centre-left would stand for” and make “serious preparation” for a breakaway.

UK Labour leader Corbyn refuses to oppose denial of vote to party members

By Robert Stevens, 15 August 2016

On Friday, the Court of Appeal in London handed down a politically motivated ruling upholding the denial of a vote to those who have joined the Labour Party since January.

UK Court of Appeal sanctions mass disenfranchisement of Labour Party members

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 13 August 2016

The politically-motivated ruling excludes up to 150,000 Labour party members from voting in the upcoming leadership contest.

UK Court of Appeal to rule on exclusion of Labour Party members from leadership ballot

By Robert Stevens, 12 August 2016

The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee argued that the mass sign-up to the party by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn is contrary to the “democratic process.”

BBC propagandises in favour of pro-European Union, anti-Corbyn putsch

By Julie Hyland, 11 August 2016

The Labour leader was especially criticised in the documentary for refusing to “engage” in the anti-immigrant propaganda that featured on both sides of the official campaigns.

Anti-Corbyn plotters make second Brexit vote centre of UK Labour leadership contest

By Laura Tiernan, 8 August 2016

Owen Smith, the challenger to the Labour leadership, condemned Jeremy Corbyn for not fighting hard enough for a Remain vote.

Bank of England announces record rate cut in windfall for financial markets

By Barry Grey, 5 August 2016

The rate cut, together with other measures announced by the bank, will pump 170 billion pounds ($223 billion) into the UK’s financial markets.

After Brexit: The struggle for socialism in Britain

By Chris Marsden, 30 July 2016

The following is a speech delivered by Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), at public meetings held this month in London and Sheffield.

Corbyn and McDonnell plead with UK Labour Party right wing for “unity”

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 25 July 2016

The aim of the Blairites is not merely to depose Corbyn, but to thwart the growing anti-capitalist sentiment and yearning for fundamental social change among millions of people.

French president, British prime minister meet to discuss Brexit crisis

By Alex Lantier, 23 July 2016

Hollande shifted towards a more accommodating position, giving Britain more time to negotiate the exit and reaffirming Britain’s role as a key military ally of France.

Leadership contest prompts mass sign-up to UK Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 23 July 2016

Owen Smith, Corbyn’s challenger for the leadership, voted in support of setting up a no-fly zone in Libya and for air strikes in Iraq.

UK’s new prime minister meets with Merkel and Hollande on Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 21 July 2016

British Prime Minister May's visit is designed to placate the two countries that form the political and economic axis of the European Union following the Brexit vote.

IMF cuts growth forecast in the wake of Brexit

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2016

The IMF has warned of the possibility of a “severe scenario” for Europe if financial conditions tighten and consumer confidence falls.

Three quarters of Labour MPs back renewal of UK nuclear missile system

By Robert Stevens, 20 July 2016

MPs from the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour Party took it in turns to support the use of nuclear weapons.

Labour and Liberal Democrats plot new party in event of Corbyn’s re-election

By Chris Marsden, 20 July 2016

The Mail On Sunday reported that a breakaway party is being discussed in secret, involving up to 150 Labour MPs, who would align themselves with the Liberal Democrats.

Former British prime minister warns of revolution

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2016

Brown couches his comments in terms of the danger of right-wing populist forces, but his real fear is the development of a socialist movement of the working class.

Deep concerns in New Zealand ruling elite over Brexit vote

By John Braddock, 18 July 2016

Running through much of the media commentary is a growing alarm about potential instability, as well as a seething hostility to the working class.

New UK Prime Minister Theresa May to head austerity government

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2016

May is a hard-line Thatcherite, who is considered capable of ruthlessly defending the interests of the ruling class.

Amid Brexit shocks, Indian elite seeks “new opportunities”

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 14 July 2016

The Indian government is attempting to use Britain’s exit from the EU to pursue its own economic and strategic interests.

UK Labour’s governing body says Jeremy Corbyn will be on leadership ballot

By Chris Marsden, 13 July 2016

There is no reason for anyone to believe that the National Executive Committee’s decision puts an end to the ongoing coup attempt against Corbyn.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) public meetings

The way forward after the Brexit vote

13 July 2016

The SEP advocated an active boycott of the referendum, arguing that the progressive and democratic unification of Europe can only be achieved through a revolutionary struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe.

Theresa May wins Conservative leadership contest and will be new UK prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 12 July 2016

The ruthless dispatch of contender Andrea Leadsom, in order to secure the favoured candidate of the ruling elite as prime minister, is testament to the dire crisis facing the British bourgeoisie.

Leadership contest launched, raising prospect of split in UK Labour Party

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 July 2016

Nothing is being ruled out by the Parliamentary Labour Party, including the possibility that Labour leader Corbyn will not be allowed to stand in a leadership contest.

Canada’s elite rattled by Brexit vote

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 9 July 2016

While most of the establishment has deplored the vote by the UK to leave the EU, the pro-Quebec independence PQ and some Conservatives have hailed the assertion of “national sovereignty.”