‘The left must fight for a real Brexit’ – an interview with Costas Lapavitsas

lapavitsasCostas Lapavitsas is a Professor of Economics at SOAS in London and a long-standing critic of the EU. His recent book, The Left Case Against the EU, is an interesting and provocative read, whatever your political orientation.

In this short interview, he argues for a No Deal Brexit from a left perspective, as well as political and economic transformation in countries across Europe that benefits ordinary working people via public ownership of the banks and utilities, industrial policy and redistribution, alongside increased popular and national sovereignty and democratic accountability.

He is heavily critical of both the EU and its institutions, including the eurozone, and British Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated deal, suggesting that preparations for a No Deal should have begun much sooner.

Lapavitsas was briefly an MP for the Syriza party in Greece, alongside ‘rock star’ economist Yanis Varoufakis. However the two have sharply differing views regarding the future of the EU.

Varoufakis believes that the EU can be reformed to shift it in a more democratic and less technocratic direction, and that a different set of economic policies for the eurozone can promote greater prosperity across the continent. He founded the DiEM25 movement to campaign for these ends.

In contrast, Lapavitsas believes that democracy is (or should be) national and that a pan-EU demos is a pipedream.

Despite all this, the two of them do agree that the structure and functioning of the eurozone is deeply flawed, and encouraged the economic and financial imbalances that led to the crisis.

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