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Wednesday 15 June 2016

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TUSC call to John McDonnell - 'Say no to Osborne-Darling's "Brexit cuts" threats'

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today appealed to shadow chancellor John McDonnell to explicitly repudiate Alistair Darling's support for George Osborne's threat of an emergency austerity budget in the event of a vote to leave the EU.

This followed the appearance by the former Labour chancellor, Lord Darling, in support of George Osborne's scare threat that tax increases and spending cuts of £30bn would have to be rapidly agreed by parliament if an EU exit vote won on June 23rd. Together they produced an 'illustrative' list of new cuts including £2.5bn to the NHS, £1.15bn in education, and cuts of more than 5% from transport and local government.

The TUSC national chair, the former Labour MP Dave Nellist - once a backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn - said: "Jeremy Corbyn, backed by John McDonnell, won the Labour Party leadership election last summer with a clear message that austerity is not necessary but is a political choice. That is true whether Britain remains in the EU or votes to leave and it is welcome that Jeremy said Labour 'would oppose any post-Brexit austerity budget' in today's Prime Minister's Questions.

"But it is still worrying that, although 57 Tory MPs have said they would not support Osborne's emergency budget plans, on Radio 4's Today programme Osborne hinted that such a rebellion would be nullified by Labour and other Conservative MPs joining forces to 'take the necessary measures'.

"Jeremy and John must make it clear: there will be no Labour support for new austerity measures and any so-called 'Labour MP' who says otherwise cannot remain on the Labour benches.

Socialist policies needed - in or out

"Ultimately, Brexit on a capitalist basis will produce broadly the same results as Remain on a capitalist basis - continued austerity, attacks on wages and living standards, cuts and privatisation of public services.

"That's why TUSC stands for an economy based on democratic public ownership of the major companies and banks (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy), a vision of a democratic socialist society rooted in Labour's old 'Clause Four'.

"We stand in solidarity with those Labour politicians who fight for a similar position, in or out of the EU.

"But TUSC supports a leave vote, firstly because the EU creates an extra layer of legal obstacles to the labour and trade union movement - against workers' rights and socialist measures generally - and secondly because the referendum gives us a chance to strike a blow at the Tories and the whole capitalist establishment.

"And if a leave vote wins on Thursday week we will work with others in the labour and trade union movement to build a united campaign of working people to oppose any threat of a new round of cuts and any attempts to create divisions on national lines".