Leaving the EU: State Aid, Public Ownership and Workers’ Rights — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:42 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 3:42 pm, 11th December 2018

I appreciate the hon. Members’ request for a specific date. I will have to fall back on a position of ensuring that my hon. Friend the Member for Rochester and Strood, the responsible Minister in this policy area, will write to both the hon. Lady and the hon. Member for Glasgow South West setting out clearly the next stages and the time frame for them.

Given our record in comparison to the EU standards in many areas, it is not surprising that Eurofound, the EU agency for work-related policy, ranks the UK as the second best country in the EU for workplace wellbeing, behind only Sweden, and the best country for workplace performance.

There has been some discussion about the EU withdrawal agreement. That will ensure that workers’ rights enjoyed under EU law will continue to be available in UK law after we have left the EU. That includes rights derived from EU law, such as the working time directive and the agency workers’ directive. Specifically within the withdrawal agreement, the UK is seeking a stringent and legally binding agreement with the EU not to roll back on employment standards. A joint committee would ensure that the UK was keeping to the agreement at a political level. There will be no roll-back of rights, including collective bargaining rights, when we leave the EU.