Grimsby MP demands EU rights for workers should be protected

Melanie Onn
Melanie Onn
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MINISTERS will today be challenged to guarantee workers’ rights beyond Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Great Grimsby MP Melanie Onn will table a Bill designed to prevent any attempt to water down rules on working conditions following Brexit.

Labour MPs have claimed the Government wants to downgrade workers’ rights once EU protections are removed as part of efforts to attract investors to the UK.

Ms Onn said: “Theresa May has put the most right-wing, Thatcherite Tories into top jobs in her new government, and Brexit gives them the opportunity to abandon the employment protections people in Britain have enjoyed for decades.

“My bill will protect in British law the rights workers currently enjoy thanks to the European Union. People voted to leave the EU, but I don’t believe they did so because they want less rights or a less safe workplace.

“EU laws ensure staff can’t be sacked or see their terms and conditions cut when they have been outsourced or their company changes ownership; they protect the rights of agency and part-time workers; and the right to annual leave.

“I believe we should be strengthening these protections, but it’s important that the Government gives a guarantee to workers that existing rights are, as a minimum, protected.”

The Prime Minister is expected to come under pressure to give more details over the Government’s approach to the Brexit talks today.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron will call for the British people to be given a referendum on the deal negotiated with Brussels over Britain’s departure from the EU.

Mr Farron will argue 16 year olds should be given the chance to vote and MPs should have a say on when Brexit talks begin, known as triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

He will say: “Voting for departure is not the same as voting for a destination.

“Brexit means Brexit but we still don’t know if that means £350m a week extra for the NHS, immigration controls or membership of the Single Market.

“This is not an attempt to re-run the first referendum. It is to enable the public to vote on the final deal, reflecting that there is disagreement even in the cabinet over every major aspect of Brexit.”