Issue date
08 Mar 2018

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, and TUC General Council spokesperson on Europe Steve Turner (Assistant General Secretary of Unite), met this morning (Thursday) with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to discuss Brexit and the needs of working people.

Frances O’Grady said:

“I told Michel Barnier that trade unions in the UK and across Europe see tremendous problems with a Brexit deal based on a free trade agreement. It would damage trade, put jobs in danger, and risk a race to the bottom for workers’ rights.

“To get the best Brexit for working people all options must be on the table – including the single market and customs union. Neither side should close down options before the next stage of negotiations begins.”

Representatives of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions also met with Barnier and joined Frances in stressing that any deal must preserve the Good Friday Agreement and prevent a hard border in Ireland.

Frances O’Grady added:

“The EU shares with Britain a responsibility to protect workers and civic society across the whole island of Ireland. A deal based on a customs union and UK participation in the single market would safeguard the Good Friday Agreement and prevent a hard border.”