Labour Research August 2016

Health & Safety Matters

Brexit ‘puts at risk’ rights guaranteed by EU laws

As a result of the Brexit vote in last month’s EU referendum, TUC head of health and safety Hugh Robertson has warned: “There is a real and serious danger that the final outcome could mean that we will lose much of the protection that EU membership has given us.” 

And the GMB general union said that the vote “puts at risk all rights guaranteed by EU legislation, as the country heads into unchartered waters”. 

Writing on the StongerUnions blog, Robertson said that much will depend on the negotiations (likely to take several years to conclude), on what kind of post-Brexit arrangements will apply to Britain. In the meantime, all European health and safety directives — the source of many pieces of UK health and safety law — will continue to apply. 

The TUC is urging trade unionists to sign its petition to MPs calling on them to commit publicly that they will not vote for any reduction in British workers’ rights, or restrict their applicability when interpreting EU law into post-Brexit UK law.