The Communist Party is not entirely surprised by the announcement to hold a General Election on June 8, never having taken Tory leaders at their word and aware that the so-called 'fixed term' Parliament Act is bogus.

Theresa May seeks a mandate to pursue a five-year programme of neoliberal policies, including yet more austerity, privatisation, militarism and war in alliance with the USA and NATO.

Her section of the Tory leadership - most of whom campaigned in favour of EU membership - want to reach a trade and investment deal with the EU on the basis of most Single European Market rules. The EU Commission welcomes this approach and has made little secret of its support for the election announcement.

Another section of the Tory leadership wants Britain to regain full control over trade, immigration and taxation policies, with no more contributions to the EU budget.

bigger majority at Westminster would allow May's section to push through its agenda without the support of its most hardline anti-EU dissidents.

It might also strengthen her position, at least in the short run, against the growing opposition to many of her domestic policies such as the reintroduction of grammar schools (and therefore of secondary moderns), the privatisation of the NHS and social housing, deeper cuts in public services and welfare benefits and more tax reductions for the rich and big business.

Both sections of the Tory Party support May's vision of Britain as a low-wage, deregulated, privatised, anti-trade union, offshore tax haven. Both favour neoliberal economic agreements with the USA, Turkey, Japan and others.

That is why it is essential to win a Labour victory on June 8 and open the way for a government led by Jeremy Corbyn to pursue left and progressive policies across a wide range of domestic and international issues.

It is precisely because the ruling class fears such a prospect that it does not want to give Labour three years - or even three more months - to rebuild party unity and take its policies directly to the people, not least in Scotland.

New freedoms outside the EU and Single Market rules would allow the Labour leadership to enact its key policies to rebuild Britain's industrial base, defend and enhance public services, promote regional development, slash or abolish VAT, strengthen our trades unions and end the super-exploitation of migrant labour.

A Labour government is needed that would not bargain away those potential freedoms in trade negotiations with the EU.

That's why the Communist Party urges the working class and peoples of Britain to seize the opportunity on June 8 to throw out the Tories. No to pessimism and defeatism! Yes to a victory for the labour movement, progress and peace!

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