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Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 8th January 2020.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice and Home Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 5:30 pm, 8th January 2020

I rise to give the support of the Scottish National party to the official Opposition’s new clause 2 and to speak to new clause 8, in the name of my right hon. Friend Ian Blackford; new clauses 50 and 51 and new schedule 1 in my name and those of some of my colleagues; and new clauses 45 and 46, in the names of SDLP Members.

I want to turn first to the issue of workers’ rights. What is being done in this Bill is very serious, which is why new clause 51 and new schedule 1 seek to reinstate the missing clause and schedule that were in the October version of this Bill. The Government have suggested that the substance of the deleted clauses will be covered in a separate employment Bill, but, as it has yet to be laid before Parliament, we are understandably suspicious given the history of these matters. It is simply not true or accurate to suggest that the United Kingdom has done a better job than the European Union in protecting workers’ rights. There are some respects in which the United Kingdom has progressed matters, and it is true to say that those came under a Labour Government, and I congratulate Labour on that.