Our job now is to make sure that the referendum vote is not followed by a prolonged recession or assault on those rights at work that are guaranteed by the EU.
The referendum campaign was passionately fought on both sides. But now that the British people have made their decision, the trade union movement stands as one in demanding that working people do not pay the price of leaving the EU.
Our job now is to make sure that the referendum vote is not followed by a prolonged recession or assault on those rights at work that are guaranteed by the EU. We will put forward an alternative plan to stave off a Brexit recession, focusing on how we create good jobs and invest in Britain’s infrastructure. We will demand a programme to invest in transport, energy, communications and council housebuilding.
Our work for a strong industrial and manufacturing policy, for a skills strategy for Britain and to meet the productivity shortfall will be ever more important. Britain must not become the cheap labour capital of Europe. We will campaign for all EU derived workplace rights to be retained in their entirety. And we will push for access to the single market to be conditional on compliance with EU rules on workers’ rights, including those yet to be implemented such as the principle of equal pay for equal work in the same company regardless of nationality.
In the referendum, voters showed their support for proper funding for our public services. We will hold the government to account for these promises, pressing the case for investment in world-class public services, from the NHS to local government and for fair pay for those providing our services. And we will evidence the impact of the vote to leave the EU on jobs, wages, industry and investment.
We will speak up for trade union concerns in planning for life after the EU and in determining the trading arrangements pursued. The referendum campaign has seen racism and xenophobia rise to the surface of our society again. As always, the trade union movement will be at the forefront of opposing racism, xenophobia and all forms of prejudice in our workplaces and our communities, and banishing them from our public discourse. And we will defend the rights of EU migrants who have made the UK their home but feel the vote to leave the EU has put their right to live and work here in doubt.
Throughout, we will demand for working people a seat at the table as decisions are made, and for trade unions to play a full role in negotiations around the UK’s exit from the EU. Amid all the political turbulence following this referendum, our job remains the same: standing up for working people.
Issued: 3 September, 2016