Leaving the Eu: Protection for Workers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 1:53 pm, 6th March 2019

We are talking about legislation here, not the treaty, and the withdrawal agreement has already been established. In the future economic partnership, there is a negotiation to be conducted—it is specified there—on our level of alignment when it comes to workers’ rights, but this is in advance of that. This provides an opportunity at the point of withdrawal to give Parliament the ability to make sure that Parliament takes an informed view of whether it wants to continue to be aligned. That is a valuable opportunity. The hon. Gentleman says that we should do it now with the treaty. That is part of the next phase of the negotiations. It is taking all the Government’s efforts to conclude the withdrawal agreement, without being able to conclude the future partnership in the next few weeks. But this is an important opportunity to establish, in primary legislation, a requirement properly to consider all new regulations that would come from the European Union and to assess the compatibility of legislation that we make in this House with that of the rest of the European Union. That, it seems to me, is a valuable opportunity.