For the past two years trade unions have been clear that any Brexit deal would have to safeguard rights at work, otherwise we couldnât support it. Theresa May brushed off our concerns, insisting that her deal would âprotect and enhanceâ rights at work. Well as of last week, we know for sure that it doesnât.
And weâre not talking about abstract regulations here, the kind no one really understands. Weâre talking about everyday protections that really matter to working people. Like paid holidays, rights for part-time workers, time off for working mums and dads, equal pay for women and limits on working hours.
These rights were won by trade unionists through the EU, and weâve been clear that leaving the EU must not put them at risk. And building on that, working people need a long-term, binding guarantee that rights in the UK will keep pace with those across Europe.
But the governmentâs deal doesnât come close to meeting this test.
In both the proposals for the transition period and for our future relationship with the EU â and whether we end up with the backstop or a free trade agreement â our rights are under real threat.
First, while the Tory right is up in arms about a transition where they say everything will stay the same, the reality is that on employment rights UK workers will lose out. Under the governmentâs plans, new EU rights that come into force after the transition wonât apply to UK workers.