Unite has called on Labour MPs to support all efforts during the parliamentary passage of the European Union (Withdrawal) bill to stop the government awarding itself extraordinary Henry VIII powers.
The union’s parliamentary briefing warns that when voters voted to leave the EU, it was not to give unprecedented control to the cabinet and Whitehall to amend or dismantle our laws, with no parliamentary scrutiny or accountability.
The briefing paper says: “This could put at risk such important measures as the working time directive which governs, for example, drivers’ hours in the UK. There are those on the Conservative benches who have voiced their opposition to this and many such other laws that help keep our working environments safe.
“We are extremely concerned that party political objectives will be used to strip back our rights and living standards behind closed doors.”
Unite’s briefing urges MPs to support any amendments that uphold democracy, along with opposing measures in the bill that compromise devolved powers and clause 7(3) which effectively pulls up the drawbridge on continuity of UK laws with EU laws.
“The government’s approach to the Brexit negotiations puts communities and jobs at risk. There must be a full debate of the withdrawal proposals in order to assure people that they are in their best interest.
“Labour’s position can achieve a Brexit that protects communities, jobs and workers’ rights, ends the exploitation of migrant workers and the race to the bottom attacks on wages, terms and conditions. Unite commends Labour for ensuring that these concerns are centre stage during the negotiations.
“Many Unite members voted for Brexit. They did not vote to lose their jobs, or to be poorer. And they did not vote for Britain to take back control from the European Union only for that power and control to be handed to a Conservative cabinet.”
Read Unite’s parliamentary briefing here