Monday, 30 May 2016

Brexit lies on social matters rebutted

I wrote some time ago that, regarding exit from the EU, I was more frightened of the immediate effects on civil and human rights than on the economic issues (though I am persuaded of an inevitable financial decline after Brexit). I also remember the fight which the Blair-Brown government put up against the working time and the anti-ageist directives. I worry that an authoritarian government, such as we are likely to be stuck with for the next decade, will be quick to remove those protections.

Now there is confirmation from an employment rights barrister, together with a reminder of how Thatcher had effectively dismantled equal pay legislation. Sean Jones systematically dismantles a number of Brexit misstatements after a brief overview:

 two general points can be made immediately. First, the EU does not have the power to regulate Employment Rights generally. It is perverse to criticise the EU for not creating a right to a minimum wage, where Member States have been scrupulous to ensure it does not have the power to do so. Second, the EU law sets a floor not a ceiling. There is nothing to stop the UK having more generous rights whilst remaining a member of the EU. The only thing continued membership prevents is having less generous rights.

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