Disgraceful scenes in Parliament as Tories talk out Workers’ Rights Bill

Tories engage in filibustering to sink workers’ rights bill

18th January 2017

Tracy Brabin, Melanie Onn and Kier Starmer launch the Bill to protect workers' rights post-Brexit

From left to right, Tracy Brabin, Keir Starmer and Melanie Onn launch the bill to protect workers’ rights post-Brexit

You never know where you are with the Tories. One minute they have promised to protect workers’ rights post-Brexit, the next they are talking out a Bill in the Commons, which would simply hold them to their promise. Last Friday Tory MPs engaged in disgraceful filibustering to talk out Melanie Onn’s Workers’ Rights (Maintenance of EU Standards) Bill. 

To give you a sense of just how outrageous this behaviour was, this is what Tory MP David Nuttall said in the ‘debate:’

“I am an avid user of my digital radio. In fact, I carry it with me everywhere – at this very moment, it is in my coat pocket – and I rarely go anywhere without it. My digital radio is a wonderful thing. In fact, it is my second one – the first one broke, having had an unfortunate incident.”

This flies in the face of promises Brexit Minister David Davis gave at the last Conservative party conference. He offered apparent assurances to the British public that there would be no retreat from EU standards on workers’ protection:

“To those who are trying to frighten British workers, saying ‘When we leave, employment rights will be eroded’, I say firmly and unequivocally ‘no they won’t.

With Theresa May now warning Britain could slash corporation tax and workers’ rights in a race to the bottom with Europe if its proposals were not accepted, this underlines the importance of energetically campaigning on this vital issue.

Labour MP Melanie Onn, who brought the bill before the house, said:

“My bill would go no further than what Theresa May and David Davis promised last year- to ensure that the rights currently afforded to British workers are maintained after Brexit.”

“By talking out the bill, the Tories have shown their true colours. They say that maternity pay, parental leave, and paid leave are all safe in their hands.”

“But when given the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are, they instead blocked the protection of those rights in UK law, and have let down working people.”

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