The Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign (LESC) has had a continuous existence since shortly after the 1975 referendum on whether Britain should stay in the Common Market, which the UK had joined in 1973.
Those who came together to form the LESC felt strongly that, although their arguments for the UK not remaining a member of the Common Market had not prevailed during the 1975 referendum, they were still fundamentally right. It would not be in Britain's long term interest to be in the organisation which has subsequently morphed over the last forty years from being the Common Market to being the European Economic Community and now the European Union. We believe that this assessment has turned out to be correct and that whatever benefits the UK has received from UK membership have been swamped by all the disadvantages which have been brought in train. These include the very substantial net payments which the UK makes to EU budgets; the heavy costs both financially and environmentally of the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy; the large balance of payments deficit which the UK has had almost every single year with other EU Member States and excessive regulations from Brussels. We think that the establishment of the Single Currency was a disastrous mistake and, although the UK is not within the eurozone, the whole EU is likely to pay a very heavy price for the misjudgements the establishment of the Single Currency is bringing in train. Above all, we are concerned at the patent lack of democracy within the EU, leaving far too much power with unelected and unaccountable and bureaucrats, bankers and judges who can then pursue a vision for Europe's future which is increasingly out of line with what most people want. We therefore support an "in or out" referendum being held on Britain's EU membership.
Against this background, the LESC has always seen its role to be one of monitoring what is happening, analysing the way trends are developing and influencing opinion within the Labour Party, the wider Labour Movement and beyond towards our point of view.
Membership of LESC is in two categories. Those who are Labour Party members or trade unionists can become full members. We also, however, welcome membership from "Library Subscribers", who may not share our general left of centre approach, but who support our stance on Britain's relationship with the EU. Membership costs as little as five pounds per year.