News

New Brexit proposals "risk race to bottom” on workers' rights

By on

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured a deal with the EU, but his opponents said there was little in it to give us any confidence workers’ rights will be safeguarded after Brexit.


Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Party leader, responding to the agreement of a Brexit Deal between the government and the EU, said: "From what we know, it seems the Prime Minister has negotiated an even worse deal than Theresa May's, which was overwhelmingly rejected.

"These proposals risk triggering a race to the bottom on rights and protections: putting food safety at risk, cutting environmental standards and workers' rights, and opening up our NHS to a takeover by US private corporations.”

Saturday could set in motion the direction the UK takes on workers' rights and health and safety after Brexit

Ian Dunt, editor of politics.co.uk explains the source of the issues. In an article posted today, Thursday, he says that although at first sight it seems that Mr Johnson has made concessions to Labour, adding into the deal guarantees that the UK will stick to the EU rules on workers' rights, health and safety and environmental protections, none of this is legally binding.

He writes that the “level playing field” provisions have simply been moved from the withdrawal agreement document, which is a legal text, and into the political declaration document, which is not.

“All it really constitutes is a recognition that the EU will insist on this if the UK wants a free trade agreement. It is not a legal guarantee. It is a recognition of the EU's future negotiating position being recognised in law,” he says.

“If it was passed, Britain would enter into the real debate: does it want to enter the embrace of America or the EU? It's going to have to pick one. Every law of logic and trading reality means it should pick its large, closer neighbour, but that is not necessarily how politics works anymore. That battle will take place. There is no guarantee of level playing fields.”

The TUC has also come out against the new Brexit deal on the grounds of workers’ rights and the economy. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This deal would be a disaster for working people. It would hammer the economy, cost jobs and sell workers’ rights down the river."

On Saturday MPs are to vote on what will be the fourth meaningful vote on a Brexit deal. MPs are also planning to force a vote on a second referendum on Saturday. 

NEWS


LONDON Pollution Simon Morris MED

Why has the UK decided against WHO legal limits on air pollution?

By Belinda Liversedge on 07 April 2020

MPs voted against enshrining World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) into UK law in the environment bill. What's the debate?



Nurse Mask Istock 486265469 Sturti MED

Health unions call for wartime style PPE manufacturing effort

By Belinda Liversedge on 06 April 2020

Manufacturing capacity currently furloughed or underutilised should be repurposed to produce the PPE kit desperately needed by NHS, social care providers and others, say doctors.



iStock_000011565033Large.jpg

HSE, CBI and TUC issue joint statement on coronavirus and workplace safety

By Belinda Liversedge on 03 April 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), CBI and TUC have today issued a joint call for employers to ensure safe working conditions during the coronavirus outbreak.