Government must seek single market membership to protect jobs and rights at work, says TUC

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7 December 2016

The TUC is calling on the government to protect jobs and rights at work by negotiating a deal to keep Britain’s single market membership.

The TUC says ministers should stop being secretive about their Brexit negotiating aims, and that working people need to know what the government’s guiding principles will be for the negotiations.

In a report published today, Brexit: A New Deal for Working People, the TUC sets out the objectives trade unions want the government to pursue to win the best Brexit deal for working people.

The TUC is calling on the government to adopt the following guiding principles:

  • Promote good jobs – by making sure the EU stays Britain’s largest trading partner, avoiding tariffs and ‘rule of origin’ bureaucracy, and allowing British businesses unhampered trade in services.
  • Protect workers’ rights – by enforcing the highest standards in Europe for employment, consumer and environmental protections.
  • Manage migration better – by taking actions that do not conflict with EU rules to improve opportunities for better jobs closer to home, ease pressures on communities with higher migration, and crack down on bad employers who undercut local workers by exploiting migrants.

The TUC concludes that the best way to meet these objectives is for the UK to seek continued membership of the single market, at least as a transitional deal until a longer-term trade agreement is in place.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Working people need to know what kind of deal the government wants to win for them. Will it promote good jobs? Will it protect our businesses from a ‘made in Britain’ tax? And will it guarantee our rights at work?

“The biggest danger is reaching a cliff edge two years after Article 50 with nowhere to go but a hard Brexit, and a hard landing. Jobs would fall, wages would fall, and demand for British goods would fall.

“The best bridge to safety is making a transitional deal that keeps us in the single market. It will save us from rushing negotiations and making bad decisions. And it will give Britain the best chance to win a long-term deal that’s good for jobs, good for rights at work, and that lets British business trade freely.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
- The full TUC report Brexit: A New Deal for Workers is available at www.tuc.org.uk/brexitnewdeal

- All TUC press releases can be found at tuc.org.uk/media

- TUC Press Office on Twitter: @tucnews
 

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