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