Unite demands release of Brexit impact assessments

Unite has called on the Brexit department to release the sectoral Brexit impact assessments, saying that the union’s 1.4 million members, and the wider public, must be able to judge the government’s own analysis.

In its submission to the House of Lord’s European Union select committee enquiry “Brexit: deal or no deal”, Unite says that while it outlines its own assessment of the impact of a no deal scenario, the evaluation of the Department for Exiting the EU must be revealed.

Ministers have so far refused to release the sector-by-sector, arguing that they will undermine the UK’s negotiating position with the EU.

Unite’s submission to the committee states that there must be a just, final settlement in the interests of workers in both the UK and in Europe and that this should include:

  • Barrier-free access to the Single Market and a customs arrangement with the EU
  • Regulatory parity including the retention of employment rights. The retention of employment rights must be achieved through primary legislation, rather than unaccountable statutory instruments.
  • Continued membership of mutually beneficial agencies and treaties, including Euratom and the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA).
  • Unequivocal support from the UK Government for the right to remain for European workers in the UK and secure reciprocation for UK workers across the European Union.
  • Labour market regulation which prevents employers pitting workers against each other to drive down pay and conditions.

Unite rejects no deal as an option any responsible government would ever entertain, and supports the principle that the people must be given the final say on the terms of Brexit. The union proposes two potential scenarios to prevent a hard, no deal outcome.

Should the government be unable to reach a deal or agree a suitable transitional arrangement by the 29 March 2019 deadline, the only viable options for preventing a cliff edge is to formally request an extension of the negotiating period through the European Council, or temporarily halt the talks.

If talks are paused a general election may be required to secure a new government with a fresh mandate to re-start negotiations.

Unite also insists that if a deal is reached it must be democratically ratified. This must include parliament, with the involvement of the devolved assemblies, retaining the options of rejecting a deal or instructing the government to seek a re-negotiation without accepting a no deal outcome.

If the government is unable to secure a deal or command the confidence of the country to re-negotiate a second attempt, this is sufficient reason for a general election.

Read Unite’s submission in full