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Wednesday, May 26, 1999 Published at 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK

Socialist Labour Party

The Socialist Labour Party (SLP) was formed in 1996. It's leader is Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers, who broke away from the Labour Party to found the SLP. He heads the party's London regional list for the European elections.

The SLP is standing on a platform of opposition to the European Union and all its institutions, which it believes to be a capitalist attack on democracy: "We campaign for the complete withdrawal from the EU."

'Who gains and who loses?'

  • "The only sector of British society to gain from the EU are the super-rich. They gain because they got more 'flexible' and cheaper European labour; because in several large countries economic policy is taken away from any democratic accountability to the people or their governments; because they can use a new euro-currency to exploit eastern Europe and Russia, challenging the dollar and the yen."

  • "Every other section of British society loses by the EU connection. Socialist Labour is truly internationalist. It seeks links between the working class across the world. It stands for global and enforceable standards and human rights."

    The Maastricht Treaty and the single currency

  • "Maastricht is a recipe for more savage cuts in public expenditure. For example, Britain will need to cut welfare spending by a further 18bn to meet convergence criteria according to the UN. Cuts in the NHS which, in real terms, would mean the closure of 80 hospitals at a time when we have 1.2m on waiting lists and pay levels are so low that we have a shortage of nurses and midwives."

  • "In short, Maastricht and the single currency mean more unemployment and more poverty."

    The Private Finance Initiative and privatisation

  • "Because increased public sector investment is ruled out under the single currency, PFI is embraced by the New Labour government with even more vigour than the Tories . . . The fat-cats can't lose under PFI, while health workers' pay is further squeezed".
  • "In order to meet the criteria for entry into the single currency, privatisation has been used as a weapon to drive down public expenditure levels."

    The Social Chapter

  • "The Social Chapter, the sugar on the pill, prevents the making of European laws to strengthen trade unions . . . It is true that workers' rights on health and safety and on equality have been improved in Britain because of EU directives, but a Socialist Labour government would pass much better laws than these."

    1992 Schengen Agreement

  • "Socialist Labour opposes the racist immigration controls implicit in Schengen which the New Labour government has recently signed up to."


  • "Socialist Labour rejects the 1998 Anglo-French St Malo accord which paves the way for a common EU defence force."

    'Capitalist attack on democracy'

  • "The EU is simply capitalism, concentrated and write large - but less democratic, more costly and more powerful than any single European capitalist country. Those with nothing to gain from the capitalist system are even more threatened by the EU. We stand four-square with those who need a different type of society - which means total opposition to the EU."

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