Lords report reveals Brexit danger for working people says TUC

By agency reporter
May 4, 2016

Commenting on a report published today (4 May 2016)) by the House of Lords European Union Committee on the process of Brexit, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) says the report backs up other legal experts who say that working people could face years of uncertainty and chaos if Britain votes to leave the EU.

The Lords’ reports states that Brexit would require the UK government to “review the entire corpus of EU law as it applies nationally and in the devolved nations”, and that “such a review would take years to complete”.

The view of the Committee aligns with an independent legal opinion commissioned by the TUC from Michael Ford QC, a leading employment lawyer and Employment Silk of 2015. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22923)

 Ford  warned that Brexit could risk “legal and commercial chaos” and would cause years of uncertainty for employers and workers. He said: “All the social rights in employment currently required by EU law would be potentially vulnerable [to dilution or repeal]”.

Michael Ford also listed the workers’ right that he believes would be most at risk post-Brexit from a government with a deregulatory agenda. They include rights to properly-paid holidays, protections for agency workers, health and safety protections, and protections from some forms of employer discrimination – such as compensation rates, and protections for pregnant workers and older workers.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “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.

“The biggest cheerleaders for Brexit think that your protections at work are just red tape to be binned. Bad bosses will be rubbing their hands with glee if Brexit gives them the chance to cut workers’ hard-won protections.”

* Read Michael Ford QC's legal opinion here

* TUC https://www.tuc.org.uk/

Further resources from Ekklesia on the EU referendum: *What kind of European future? (Ekklesia, 13 June 2016) – http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23160
* Assessing Christian contributions to the EU referendum debate (Ekklesia, 20 June 2016) – http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23188* Ten principles to guide voting in the EU referendum and beyond (Ekklesia, 21 June 2016) - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23194
* Ekklesia’s EU referendum briefing and commentary: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/eureferendum

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