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Promoting workers rights in trade deals

Our new trade relationship with the EU

After years of negotiations since the referendum on EU membership in 2016, the UK and the EU have agreed the terms of UK exit from the EU in October 2019 as well as the new terms of trade in December 2020. The TUC objectives for these negotiations were to

  • Protect peace in NI and prevent disruptions to the all-island economy that underpins the Good Friday Agreement

The campaign to promote workers’ rights in trade deals must be global

If trade deals don’t contain effective protections for workers’ rights, they make it easier for companies to locate themselves in countries where wages are lower and workers are less able to resist exploitation.

The TUC is working with trade unions across the world and through ITUC and ETUC to push for trade unions to be involved in trade negotiations and monitoring the impact of trade deals to ensure they promote workers’ rights, human rights, gender equality, Sustainable Development Goals, good jobs and redress inequalities between the Global North and Global South.

Where human and trade union rights are being violated, the TUC opposes trade deals with these countries.

The deal that that is now in place since January 2021 was not the deal we were promised, and the government needs to try harder. The deal poses threats to jobs and rights that the government must now work to address. The TUC has set out a plan to help fix the shortcomings of the UK-EU deal and protect jobs, rights and public services and is working with trade unions across Europe to push for the changes needed.

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