Reclaiming Democracy: The Left Case for Sovereignty is a short booklet, comprising 10 essays by left-wing Brexit-supporting authors. The essays were commissioned by North West Brexit Party MEPs Claire Fox and Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen and offer a comprehensive challenge to the prevailing narrative that Brexit was a solely right-wing phenomenon.
The essays tackle some of the fundamental and controversial questions surrounding the EU and the Eurosceptic movement. From Labour’s rejection of its working-class history and challenging the extent to which the Brexit vote was motivated by racism to noting the inherent neo-liberal structure of the EU, the book sets out to take issue with common precepts and reaffirm the left’s credentials within the Brexit movement. Contributing writers include Maurice Glasman, John Mills, Tom Bewick, Philip Cunliffe and more.
“The EU is rooted in four holy ‘pillars’: unregulated movement of capital, goods, labour and services. The most ardent cheerleaders are large multinational corporations, lobbyists and the middle-class establishment.”
Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen from the essay ‘Euroscepticism as an integral part of the left’
“For democratic socialists, the Chartist movement is…the forerunner of the British Labour Party…Given this history, for many on the radical and modern left of British politics, it is curious why today’s Labour Party is so ambivalent about Leaving the EU”
Tom Bewick from the essay ‘An enquiry into the Chartist roots of contemporary democratic movements and their modern significance’
“From the point of view of certain black and minority ethnic (BME) leave voters, it is the EU that is seen as racist in its treatment of non-white people: not the British nation state”~
Alka Seghal-Cuthbert from the essay ‘Nationalism, the nation state, racism and the Brexit vote’
“Decades of this top down technocratic approach had sapped the morale of citizens…’take back control’ – resonated…it gave life to instinctive principles of left-wing politics: support for popular sovereignty, mass democracy and self-determination”
Claire Fox from the essay ‘An open letter to radical democrats’
On 2 December 2019, Claire Fox and Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, with the grassroots group Leavers of Greater Manchester, co-hosted the launch of Reclaiming Democracy. Alongside Claire and Henrik, two of the book’s contributing essayists, Alka Sehgal Cuthbert and Steve Roberts, gave speeches. The event was hosted by Leavers of Greater Manchester chair, Joan Mulvenna. You can watch Claire’s comments here and Henrik’s here.
You can also listen to the whole event via Soundcloud.