12 Febuary 2018
The government’s impact assessment on the EU singles out workers’ rights as a potential area for “maximising regulatory opportunities”, according to MPs.
Speaking to the Independent, politicians who have seen the secret document revealed that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy analysed the expected effects of amending or cutting the Working Time Directive.
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock told the newspaper: “I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the government is even looking at eroding workers’ rights.”
Liberal Demcrat MP Tom Brake added that he was “perplexed” as to the inclusion of the workers’ rights section seeing as the government has given repeat assurances that employment law will not be weakened by Brexit.
“If the Government was completely committed to maintaining existing rights, then officials would have been told not to include them in the analysis,” he told the Independent.
“I am very suspicious as to why this reference is there.”
Another MP said: “It surprised me how much emphasis there was on diverging from existing regulations.”
Although, a government spokesperson said it was “categorically untrue” that there are plans to scrap workers’ rights, Theresa May has refused to rule out changes to the Working Time Directive.