Jude and Paul endorse 'Remain, Reform, Rebel' manifesto for European Elections

15 April 2019

North East Labour MEPs, Jude Kirton-Darling and Paul Brannen, have endorsed a new pro-Remain manifesto for the European Elections. 

Drafted by left-wing politicans, leading trade unionists and academics, the 'Remain, Reform, Rebel' manifesto based on the one prepared by the Party of European Socialists (PES) envisages a Europe for the many, not the few. It was endorsed by every Labour MEP planning to contest their seat should we take part in European Elections this May.

Read the 'Remain, Reform, Rebel' manifesto below:  

Remain, Reform, Rebel

The Mission for Socialist Members of the European Parliament 

What would the EU look like, had it unfolded according to the vision of its founders? What would it take to foster reconciliation and promote peace today? What would solidarity mean in a modern society and how could it reach across borders? What would a freedom of movement look like that represented genuine liberty? How do institutions build equality and represent the social good against the profit motive? What challenges can people meet who share these values? What challenges must we meet to honour these values? What role can the EU play in countering the dangers brought about by globalisation, including climate change, transnational organised crime, war and conflict, or extreme deprivation?

A Green New Deal for Europe
Climate change is the major and most pressing threat to peace, stability and security; it is a daunting foe, yet it ignites the best in us, unites us a a human family in defence of our planet, to which borders are not relevant and cooperation is everything. We can make Europe the first carbon free continent in the world. We can invest as a continent, build as a continent, renew as a continent; we can revivify our economies in the process. Socialists of Europe demand: 60 precent renewables by 2030; 100 percent renewables by 2050; a European supergrid; an invigorated and high-skilled workforce to service and extend these innovations in energy; domestic policy reshaped by states made courageous by abundance; foreign policy reimagined with peace as its organising principle, rather than access to resources. The role of the EU in seeking and maintaining a just and rule-based international order cannot be understated, now more than ever: European support for keeping both the INF Treaty and the Iran nuclear deal, in the face of Donald Trump’s attempt to destroy
both, has been decisive. Our common trade policy should ensure shared prosperity through enforceable, binding rights for workers and to protect the environment, while ensuring effective rules for multinational investors - making fair trade and sustainability the foundation for our economic relations with the rest of the world not entrenching rights for multinationals.

A Free, Democratic, Humanitarian Europe
From the resurgence of far-right parties in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, to the authoritarian strong man politics of Hungary, Russia and the USA; from the doomed nativism of Brexit to the alt-right internet wormholes of an ever more connected world, Fascism is on the rise, both inside Europe and outside it. The mainstream right shows no appetite to resist it; traditional social democratic ideas are unequal to the questions the far-right sets out to answer. The erosion of living standards will not end when freedom of movement ends; attempts to blame it on migration only strengthen the bad faith actors who seek to undermine confidence in progressive possibility. It has to be met by a vigorous trans-continental union movement; wage floors, workplace rights, networks of support and activism across borders. Our invigorated power as workers has to be matched by a similar revival of our power as citizens; public accountability, fair and transparent decision-making, renewed democratic levers between people and institutions. The antithesis to authoritarianism is pluralism.

In indulging right-wing extremism, European institutions have lost their humanitarian vocabulary and purpose, nowhere more visible than in the refugee crisis; without a duty to provide sanctuary and a pride in offering it, this continent has no moral purpose; and without that, well might its members wonder what kind of journey they’re embarked on. Our responsibilities do not end at the borders of Europe. The EU has to remain the standard bearer for human rights, promoting social and economic development and the rule of law world-wide, and addressing the conflicts that rage in the Mediterranean and beyond through human rather than national security.

A Europe for the Many not the Few
If anything has swerved the direction of the institutions of the EU, it has been the attempts of the past thirty years to replace its shared values with a shared economic policy, to serve the interests of globalised finance. Austerity has eroded social security and, with it, a broader sense of duty towards each citizen, that the young deserve employment, that the old deserve care and dignity, that all those working deserve fair and sufficient wages, and all those not working are still infinitely valuable, since the wealth of any place is in its people. To reach our goals of full youth employment and reducing social exclusion, we will extend the Youth Guarantee – which already helps millions of young Europeans to get a quality job, traineeship, or further education. We will continue to support and reinforce Erasmus+ and ensure that it can benefit people from all social backgrounds. We support lifelong learning as a public good, not as a means to profit. Governments, singly and in concert, should have the potential and opportunity of every citizen as their highest purpose, and the fair distribution of its fruits - whether that be a digital revolution, an new era of AI or the green transition - as their core business. The collaborative fight for tax justice will bring to an end the evasion, avoidance and corporate competition that have thwarted the ambitions of public spending and sullied the sense of shared social responsibility.

We will fight for the harmonisation of corporate tax rates to deal with tax competition. Citizens must never again bear the cost of the mistakes of the financial sector, either in the disintegration of their own incomes or in the rolling back of their hard won public services. As the solutions to tax justice can no longer be found in national isolationism, nor can those of a modern and generous state: rights and safety nets have to be won collectively across borders, and defended in solidarity: if for no other reason than that we will pay for disparities with our freedom of movement. The interests of the market can no longer take precedence over those of the citizens.

The manifesto was first published in the Huffington Post

This draft manifesto is a contribution to the British Labour Party's European Election Manifesto debate. It is an abridged version of the PES manifesto from the Socialist Europe Policy Commission chaired by Ann Pettifor.

The draft is endorsed by:
Ann Pettifor, Manuel Cortes, Mary Kaldor, Jude Kirton-Darling MEP , Zoe Williams, Omar Salem, Cathleen Clarke, Peter Kenyon from the Commission.

The following UK Labour MEPs:
Richard Corbett (EPLP leader: Yorkshire & Humber)
Seb Dance (EPLP deputy leader: London)
Theresa Grif fin (EPLP Chair)
Claude Moraes (London)
Mary Honeyball (London)
Clare Moody (SW)
Derek Vaughan (Wales)
Julie Ward (NW)
Wajid Khan (NW)
John Howarth (SW)
Alex Mayer (Eastern)
Paul Brannen (NE)
Neena Gill (West Midlands)
David Martin (Scotland)

and the following S&D MEPs (non-British)
Clara E. Aguilera Garcia (PSOE, Spain - Vice-Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development)
Eric Andrieu (PS, France – Vice President of the S&D Group in the European parliament)
Marie Arena (PS, Belgium)
Brando Benifei (PD, Italy)
Evelyne Gebhardt (SPD, Germany – Vice President of the European parliament)
Inma Rodriguez-Piñero (PSOE, Spain)
Agnes Jongerius (PvDA, Netherland – Vice Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs)
Dietmar Köster (SPD, Germany)
Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (SDP, Finland – Leader of the SDP delegation in the European parliament)
Bernd Lange (SPD, Germany – Chair of the Committee on International Trade)
Peter Niedermüller (DK, Hungary)
Pina Picierno (PD, Italy)
Georgi Pirinski (BSP, Bulgaria)
Evelyne Regner (SPÖ, Austria - Leader of the SPÖ delegation in the European parliament)
Pedro Silva Pereira (PS, Portugal – Vice Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs)
Babette Winter (SPD, Germany)
Carlos Zorrinho (PS, Portugal - delegation leader)


The Commission was set up by British Left Remainers who believe that Europe can be transformed and challenge financialised capitalism and who WANT to build alliances across Europe to face the security and climate challenges that the UK cannot face alone.

Do you think the North East needs its own voice in the EU exit negotiations?

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