TUC statement on Europe
16 January 2013
The TUC Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday 15 January believes that the Government's call to repatriate powers from the European Union is a smokescreen for plans to launch further attacks on ordinary people's employment rights and could put thousands of jobs at risk.
First, the Government wants to take away the rights working people have gained over the last thirty years from the European Union. Social Europe has provided working people with more equality, more protection from redundancy, more information about what's happening at their workplace, as well as a shorter working week and paid holidays. The Government wants to take that away from working people, and make them work longer hours for less pay.
Second, the Prime Minister is playing politics with Britain's future prosperity to appease the Eurosceptics. His dithering about a referendum is deeply damaging to Britain's economic interests, threatening our trade relationships and creating uncertainty which is harming investment prospects, especially in manufacturing.
The one area where the Government goes along with the rest of Europe's governments is in the self-defeating policy of austerity, which has brought poverty and misery to millions around Europe and here in Britain. It should instead be devoting its efforts to promoting growth and jobs, calling on the European Union to listen to the evidence from the IMF and OECD and change course on austerity.
Issued: 16 January, 2013