17 Days Remaining

Thursday 11th
posted by Luke James in Britain

O’Grady says stance makes exit more likely

DAVID CAMERON confirmed yesterday that he wants workers’ rights to be swept away as part of a deal to keep Britain in the European Union.

EU employment laws includes an entitlement to 20 days’ paid holiday and rights for agency workers.

But even these modest protections, which are part of the EU social chapter, are too much for the Tories.

The Prime Minister told MPs that securing “competitiveness” was a crucial part of his renegotiation strategy in the run-up to a referendum.

And he vowed to “impinge on some of the issues under what was called the social chapter, which has never been acceptable to the UK.”

He made the admission after being goaded by Ukip MP Douglas Carswell at Prime Minister’s questions (PMQs).

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady (pictured) said Mr Cameron’s efforts to look tough in front of his backbenchers would “send a chill down the spine” of working people.

“If Mr Cameron’s strategy for placating his Eurosceptic MPs and donors is to argue for weaker employment rights, then voters deserve to know.

“Making people’s working lives worse — and adding to Britain’s already dire reputation as a nation of sweatshops — will lose support for a Yes vote and make Brexit more likely.”

After PMQs, the Star pressed the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman on which rights Mr Cameron found unacceptable.

She refused to reveal which were in his crosshairs, but said the PM was responding to complaints about “unnecessary, overburdensome rules.”

Her comments echoed the words of bosses’ club CBI president Mike Rake, who admitted last month when pushed on what “more competition” meant that he wanted sacking workers to be easier.

“Where rights are so extensive, it leads to employers not being willing to employ people, that is not healthy to anyone,” he told Radio 4.

The CBI is set to play a major part in the campaign to keep the country in the EU.

But an independent poll of over 4,000 voters, carried out for the TUC, found that their rhetoric increased the likelihood of Britain voting to leave.

Just 23 per cent of respondents said they would be more supportive of Britain remaining in the pro-business body if it did more to cut “red tape.”