BY the time you read this, we will know the results of the European elections, not just in the UK, but across the continent.

Everyone expects a surge for far-right parties, and that’s certainly going to be the case in England where the Brexit Party looks on course to win dozens of seats and, together with Ukip, upwards of 40% of the total vote.

READ MORE: SNP candidate for Euro elections on the doorstep reactions to PM Boris Johnson

Over these past nine months, we have been so fixated with the mind-boggling chaos at Westminster that most people have not been paying much attention to what’s happening in the rest of Europe.

As far as I can see – and maybe, when the ballot papers are counted, the results will prove me wrong on this – the upsurge of ultra-right populism has slowed down. And, ironically, that seems be down to the Brexit effect. As voters across Europe have watched from afar the humiliating shambles engulfing the UK, right-wing nationalism has lost some of its lustre.

The traditional mainstream blocs on the centre left and centre right are likely to lose more than 100 seats between them. But a large chunk of that is going to new parties of the moderate centre, including French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche, which didn’t exist at the time of the last European election, and to a lesser extent to the Greens. While the far right is on course to make gains, it might fall short in its ambition to shake the pillars of Brussels and Strasbourg to their foundations. So, while the liberal establishment might be licking a few wounds this morning, they may well be thanking their lucky stars for Theresa May and her dysfunctional party – and for the dismal failure of the British Labour Party to rise to the occasion.

The rest of us can console ourselves with the thought that even the darkest storm clouds might have a silver lining. So, even if the UK is about get lumbered with a blustering, duplicitous fraud as prime minister, at least we won’t have to worry about a resurgence of Nazism in Europe? That’s one way to look at it. Another way is to recognise that a creeping 21st-century form of fascism is insidiously replacing socialist solidarity among big swathes of the traditional working classes across Europe.

In Austria, Hungary, Poland and Italy, hard-line rightists are in control of national government. In Finland, the far-right Finns Party came within a fraction of 1% of topping the polls at last month’s general election. In Slovenia, an anti-immigration party topped the poll in the general election of June 2018. In Estonia, the extreme right is in third place, as is the right-wing Danish People’s Party in Denmark.

The National: Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party were polling well behind The Brexit Party ahead of the EU electionsJeremy Corbyn's Labour Party were polling well behind The Brexit Party ahead of the EU elections

So, this is no time for complacency. Like most National readers, I voted Remain and would do so again without hesitation. Before the European referendum, I took issue with some of my socialist friends who seemed to believe that Brexit would be the catalyst for a surge to the left across Britain.

That worked out well, did it not? Nigel Farage 15 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the polls, up from just two points ahead of Ed Miliband’s Labour Party in 2014. And Boris Johnson poised to become prime minister – a man who, for all his pseudo-eccentric buffoonery, will be a far more formidable foe for Jeremy Corbyn than either David Cameron or Theresa May.

But where I have a major problem with most of the prominent Remainers – including, I have to say, the SNP leadership – is in their failure to make any serious critique of the European Union.

Yes, let’s be part of a wider Europe. But let’s also be much bolder in offering an inspiring alternative to the tens of millions of people across the continent who have been left behind by globalisation, crushed underfoot by the march of multinational capitalism and fallen prey to the ugly xenophobia of the so-called populist right.

By the time of the next European elections in 2024, Scotland might well be part of the EU as an independent nation state. In the meantime, the SNP, Scottish Greens and broader independence movement should start to work seriously with other left and progressive forces across the continent on a common programme for democratic, social, economic and environmental change on a continental scale.

READ MORE: George Kerevan: Democracy is not quite dead but we have to act if it is to be saved

A European-wide 30-hour working week, for example, with all additional hours to be paid at double time, to reduce unemployment and improve the lives of working people.

The levelling up of workers’ rights to the highest European standards in all member states, including an absolute right to organise and strike, unhampered by the state, as applies right now in Portugal and other countries.

A financial transaction tax of 0.1% across the EU, which would raise up to half a trillion euros, to tackle poverty and create jobs.

A standardised annual wealth tax on all assets over a million euros.

A minimum rate of corporation tax to prevent the race to the bottom which entices global companies to flit from one country to another in search of the highest returns.

A carbon tax on big business with the revenues used to carry out woodland and peatland restoration on a mass scale to soak up greenhouse gas emissions. Equalising maternity leave and rights up to the highest levels in Europe.

These are just some examples of policies that, if adopted by a continent-wide coalition of left and progressive parties, would resonate strongly with the tens of millions of people who work in soul-destroying jobs while anxiously juggling the household bills.

And it would rip the ground from the under the feet of those privileged, public-school charlatans with vast hoards of inherited wealth who falsely pose as champions of the common people while they socialise with the yacht-owning, jet-setting, grouse-shooting idle rich.