What does the new Brexit deal mean for workers' rights?

Jeremy Corbyn has branded the new Brexit deal a ‘blank cheque’ for the Government to do whatever it likes with workers’ rights.

The Labour leader fears that if the UK leaves the European Union under the current agreement then people in employment could face working longer hours and less equal pay conditions.

EU regulations include the ‘working time directive’ which limits the number of hours people can work, the maximum amount of particular pollutants in the air and requirements for workers doing the same jobs to be paid equally.

After Brexit, the EU rights which have been protecting UK workers will not have to be applied by businesses.

Frances O’Grady, secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said: ‘This deal would be a disaster for working people.

‘It would hammer the economy, cost jobs and sell workers’ rights down the river.’

The issue of workers’ rights has been key to Brexit negotiations.

There has been concern that the wording of a ‘level playing field’ is now not included in the legal text of the new Brexit deal, but features as one of the non-binding aspirations of the future EU-UK relationship.

Leaders in Brussels have insisted that the closer the UK is to EU regulations then the easier it will be to give full market access, reports the BBC.

Boris Johnson has offered assurances this week that UK workers’ rights will still mirror those in the EU.

The Prime Minister has said that if EU workers’ rights change then there will be a discussion on whether the UK should take the same action and a potential vote by MPs in the House of Commons to change laws.

The PM told the House of Commons today: ‘I have complete faith in this house to choose regulations that are in our best traditions of the highest standards of environmental protections and workers rights.

‘No one anywhere in this chamber believes in lowering standards.

‘We believe in improving them.’

But the promises by Mr Johnson have been rubbished by Laura Pidcock, Labour’s shadow minister for employment rights.

Ms Piddock tweeted: ‘While BorisJohnson & co cannot give an unequivocal commitment that existing rights will be retained (and for how long) or even that new protections will be adopted, this deal is no better than what Theresa May was offering.

‘All workers rights’ elements are just hot air.’

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