From the TUC

Another report confirms #Brexit would cause massive uncertainty for working people

04 May 2016, by in International

The House of Lords’ influential European Union Committee has produced another important report ahead of the EU referendum on 23 June. Following their earlier report in March calling for more attention to be paid to the interests of working people, today’s report emphasises the years of uncertainty that will face working people here in the UK and especially those working, studying or retiring abroad, if voters choose to leave the EU.

This endorses the legal advice the TUC published last month from employment law expert Michael Ford QC, who said that Brexit could lead to “legal and commercial chaos” and it justifies our advice to working people: don’t risk it!

The report concludes:

“One of the most important aspects of the withdrawal negotiations would be determining the acquired rights of the two million or so UK citizens living in other Member States, and equally of EU citizens living in the UK. This would be a complex and daunting task.”

And of course it would also be an uncertain few years (5-9 years, the Committee suggested, on the basis of similar negotiations) for all workers in Britain, as Frances O’Grady has commented:

“Here is yet another authoritative report about the risks of Brexit that should worry working people. Unions fought hard for better rights at work, many of which are now underpinned by EU law. But those rights – from holiday pay to protections for pregnant workers – would be under question if Britain votes to leave the EU.

“And it would be years before we knew if they were being kept or scrapped.”

What the report doesn’t say, but is always worth bearing in mind, is that although we obviously don’t know for certain which workplace rights would be lost after Brexit, no one realistically suggests we will be getting any additional rights at work (rights which could already be added to what we’ve won from the EU.) The real questions which the Leave camp have left unanswered are only how many rights will be taken away from us, and when?

4 Responses to Another report confirms #Brexit would cause massive uncertainty for working people

  1. UK households' cash savings are really struggling
    May 6th 2016, 10:20 am

    […] story. Households that find it difficult to save are left highly vulnerable in the case of income shocks or sudden expenses. If that level of fragility extends out to the wider economy the consequences would be far from […]

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    May 8th 2016, 10:13 pm

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  3. Martin
    Jun 3rd 2016, 9:56 am

    The unions should welcome the opportunity to strengthen workers rights here in Britain. Where has the determination gone? The lilly livered should step aside and give us a union that is prepared to negotiate hard! Try saying NO for a change not “no to change”.
    The people you should have as the basis of your thinking are not those who can afford to be “working, studying or retiring abroad,” after all they are not likely to be members of your Union and they are clearly not struggling; you should be thinking about the people at the bottom of the heap here in UK. Start by fighting for improved minimum wage – set a target of more than £12 ph which will take back some corporate profit to reduce working tax credits etc.
    The outrage you express should be directed at the boards of for example national chains that are subsidised by many millions in each of their stores. Set a high minimum wage, minimise the tax credits bill and thereby reduce the deficit.
    For heavens sake, do your job!

  4. Owen Tudor

    Owen Tudor
    Jun 3rd 2016, 7:30 pm

    Dear Martin
    Unions and the TUC are of course continually fighting for better terms and conditions and rights for working people. We act at national level and at European level: they are not alternatives. As you recognise, we won a national minimum wage at national level, but equal rights for part-time, temporary and agency workers at EU level, working with our colleagues in trade union movements across Europe. What won’t help in the fight for better wages and rights, however, is to have to spend our time defending the rights we have won from the EU, and which would surely be under threat if the UK voted to leave the EU.