With several news outlets reporting this morning that Cameron is rethinking his plan to attack workers’ rights, Labour has made its position clear:
It was never going to be a good idea to try to build support for the EU based on a bonfire of workers’ rights. Strong economies should have decent rights for people at work and many of the rights and protections British workers have, such as minimum amounts of paid leave, rights for part-time workers and protections when companies are taken over by new owners, come from agreements reached at EU level. The Tories withdrew from the Social Chapter in the past and one of the first acts of the Labour Government was to reverse that decision and rejoin it. We could not have done that if we had been outside the EU.
The more the Prime Minister shuttles round Europe, the more it becomes clear that this is an exercise in Tory Party management rather than one which puts the interests of the British people and the British economy first. It is in our interests to connect to our biggest export market and to keep the hard won rights and protections for people at work that guarantee decency in the workplace.
Europe faces big challenges including forging a much more coherent response to the refugee crisis unfolding on our TV screens. These challenges are better met by us working together rather than Balkanising Europe and pretending that withdrawal will make the problems of the world disappear.