Update on Brexit talks from TUC

Just sharing a communication Ian Lawrence received today from TUC General Council from Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary ...

Dear General Council Member

Following my conversation with the Prime Minister last week, representatives from my office and other trade union officials were today invited to meet with the Cabinet Office, Beis and Defra.

The TUC set out our tests that any Brexit deal must protect jobs, rights, and peace in Northern Ireland. We pointed out that since the Prime Minister is keen to reopen negotiations on the backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement, we would expect her to also to seek to make improvements to provisions on workers’ rights in the deal.

The Prime Minister’s commitment to legislation on workers’ rights (along the lines of the Mann amendment) was confirmed. However, details have yet to be worked through by officials and remain subject to the usual consultation and likely delays. It was however clear that any government plans for changes at a domestic level will in no way compensate for the loss of workers’ rights that would result from leaving the single market, and will certainly not act as a bulwark against any future right-wing governments.

The TUC reminded officials of the need for government to address the many of the drivers of the Brexit vote and set out our new deal for working people priorities.

Finally, we advised that ad-hoc and one-off meetings are no substitute for structured consultation. We encouraged future engagement with the TUC on both Brexit and the domestic agenda to ensure that the voices of working people and trade unions are heard.

I have this afternoon written to the Prime Minister to reiterate our position. I will keep you up to date with developments.

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