Boris Johnson’s new Brexit boss
Boris Johnson’s new Brexit chief has backtracked on promises given by Theresa May on workers rights, saying wants to scrap previous commitments to protectÂ workersâ€™ rights, and has suggestedÂ Brexit is an opportunity to escape the EUâ€™s â€śheavy labour market regulationâ€ť.
The Independent newspaper has revealed that David Frost former chief executive of the London ChamberÂ Of Commerce and Industry, who was appointed last week by Johnson to replace Olly Robbins as Downing Streetâ€™s EU Brexit chief, (a role that will see him leading any future talks with Brussels) said he was opposed to the approach advocated â€śby the leaders of both major political partiesâ€ť, and argued that EU rights should not automatically be written into law after Brexit.
â€śBusiness organisations have often in the past criticised the EUâ€™s drift towards heavy labour market regulation,â€ť Mr Frost said in May 2019 in an article reproduced on the London ChamberÂ of Commerce and Industry website.
â€śSo I will take some persuading it will be a good outcome if the EU is able to set new UK labour market rules without any UK say â€“ as currently seems to be envisaged by the leaders of both major political parties.â€ťÂ
Theresa May had committed the government to maintaining the current level of European UnionÂ workers rights, and also went even further, legislating for parliament to automatically be given votes on staying aligned with the blocâ€™s rules when future legislation emerges. The â€śdynamic alignmentâ€ť plans were unveiled by the government in a failed bid to get Labour MPs to back the withdrawal agreement.
Additionally, during the transition period included in the withdrawal agreement, the UK would have to accept rights with no say at all, as rejected by Frost.
Brussels has also suggested the UK would have to stay aligned with future EU workersâ€™ rights, as well as environmental and social legislation, past the end of the transition period â€“Â if it wants a trade agreement.
Chief negotiator MichelÂ Barnier has said the bloc would seek non-regression clauses to ensure Britain does not backslide on rules and try to undercut its neighbours.
Commenting on the officialâ€™s views, TUC general secretary Frances Oâ€™Grady said: â€śBoris Johnson claims that he intends to enhance rights at work after Brexit. He and his advisers should be focused on delivering that promise.
â€śBut instead theyâ€™re threatening a catastrophic no deal, which would strip away existing legal protections and leave essential rights open to attack. Working people must not be dragged off this cliff edge without getting a Final Say.â€ť