I agree with the TUC

The TUC and the warring Labour party both agree that the UK’s minimum standards for employees, often set out in EU law, should not be watered down. I agree.

I find it curious that both bodies make this their central campaign as we come out of the EU, when as far as I am aware no-one in power or a position of influence over the government thinks these laws should be diluted.

Throughout the Referendum campaign the repeal of EU labour law was the dog which would not bark, because it was the dog that did not exist. I remember well being asked at most of the debates I attended during the referendum which measures I would want to deregulate and repeal if we left and could get rid of EU laws. Some asked me because they thought Leave would stumble and be unable to list anything.Some, including media enquiries, were hoping I would want to get rid of some piece of EU labour law, as they wished to keep it.

I always began my answer that the worst regulations I wanted to remove and replace with better ones were the extensive rules of the Common Fishing Policy. I want sensible rules to preserve our fishing grounds that allow a better deal for UK fishermen. That was not one the Remain faction wanted to discuss. They would press again. I would talk about the compulsory VAT on domestic fuel and green products and ask for that to be repealed. That was another that did not suit their purposes. I would then press to change the procurement rules, as they seem to militate against the UK public sector buying enough British product. This list would usually satiate their wish for regulatory repeal and change. I could go on.

The Leave campaign was united in saying we would keep all EU labour laws for two reasons. One, many of us want there to be decent standards at work. Two, the UK has a long tradition of improving legal minima, often above EU requirements. Leaving will not change that.

I also now have a third reason for wanting to keep these rules. Big businesses are the ones most likely to want to dilute these standards. All too many big businesses, who should have stayed neutral, waded in on the Remain side in the debates. By doing so they lost potential support for any more dubious legal reform they might want once we come out. Why should I think their judgement any wiser or more popular on labour law than it was on membership of the EU?

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  1. DaveM
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    The Remainiacs still don’t seem to get it though. Whether it’s about workers’rights, immigration or anything else, Brexit is about making the rules ourself – they seem to prefer being dictated to by foreign bureaucrats.

    Now, about Brexit, when is it going to happen? We seemed to have reached stagnation. Nothing’s happening. So why not kick it off now?

    • Jerry
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      @Dave M; Your second word above says far more than all the others, and is what is sowing the distrust.

      Nothing is happening because the cold light of day has entered the room, the Brexiteers are now in the same position as the LDs were the morning after the signing up to a coalition in 2010, electioneering is one thing (especially when you didn’t expect to win/gain power), making it work is another. A points based immigration system, access to the EU single market and now visa-free travel within the EU once we have our Brexit are likely just the first of the row-backs.

      Reply Not true

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        “and now visa-free travel within the EU”

        I’m not going to repeat my comment from yesterday:


        There is a problem with journalists whose powers of logical thought are so weak that they cannot distinguish between “visa” and “not visa”.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; It is you who appears not to understand what a visa is, in this context it is an official document (electronic or hard-copy) that gives permission to enter a country other than your own, perhaps you would like to tell us how having ESTA clearance is not a visa in all but name – or perhaps it might be easier for you to tell us how many Angels can dance on a pinhead…

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            Yeah, sure, Jerry that’s why ESTA applies to travellers under a “visa waiver” scheme and is not available to those who actually require visas.


            “All eligible international travelers who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization.

            Who You Are:

            You are a citizen or eligible national of a Visa Waiver Program country.

            You are currently not in possession of a visitor’s visa … ”

            The EU scheme, first proposed in 2011 – nothing to do with Brexit – is intended to be a close copy of the US scheme.

            I’d say your angels have fallen right off the pinhead.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper, It’s still (effectively) a “Visa”, what ever your europhobe sensibilities like or dislike;


            Pronunciation: /ˈviːzə/

            An endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country

            The above definition, allowing for modern electronic(ally read) passports, clearly makes ESTA clearance the same as a Visa – ESTA clearance is a “endorsement on a passport”, but without having scrapped the pre-existing Visa Waver scheme, all very convenient for those with USA passports wishing to travel…

            Also, nor did I say that the EU’s version was a response to Brexit, just that post Brexit those from the UK wishing to travel to EU countries will have to comply with any such EU scheme.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Stop wriggling, it’s nothing to do with my sensibilities.


            “A final issue which will be watched closely is the idea of greater documentation and registration around migration. This links up with the reports ahead of the speech about a potential EU ESTA programme, similar to that in the US. Essentially, visitors from outside the EU would need to provide information and possibly pay a small fee before they travel to the EU (not a visa system). There were hints at such a system in the speech, albeit them vague, and given the UK might be subject to this post-Brexit its topic which will be watched closely.”

            “Not a visa system”.

            You can read my comment there.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; The only person wriggling is you! Europhiles and Eurocrat’s also say that the Euro is structurally sound, that Brexit will damage the UK, if we should believe how they are selling the EU’s version of a ESTA then should we not also accept what they say about the Euro and Brexit?…

            If you have a problem with the definition of what a Visa is then best you take it up with the compilers at the OED etc. and stop wasting mine and our hosts time arguing here.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 16, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            With about 50 posts on just this thread alone, you are in no position to ask others to stop arguing Jerry

          • Jerry
            Posted September 17, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What ever… That comment says far more about you, and your belief in free speech etc. than it does about myself, my opinions or indeed our hosts ability to administer this website. Only one person can tell me that I can not post a comment, in fact he doesn’t even need to actually tell me, that person is not you though Eddie.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        JR reply; What is not true, that insulting those who wished to remain causes mistrust, that Vote Leave didn’t expect to win or that Minister charged with achieving Brexit are publicly stating that the UK might not be able to retain access to all that many Brexit supports wish – if the latter then best you take it up with those in your party who are talking in error and so openly.

        Reply We will have access to the single market. Vote leave made quite clear we would cease to be a member of it, as it comes with freedom of movement and contributions attached.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          Jerry – The whole EU thing causes mistrust.

          Whatever your position on it it has Britain divided broadly down the middle (I expect many more would have voted to Leave had they not lived in fear of it rather more than they loved the EU.)

          The EU is divisive – not a force for unity at all. For that alone it is a bad thing.

          I’m glad Leave won and by a convincing margin. I know much is made about regional, age and class divisions but had this been a general election Brexit would be in government with over 2/3rds majority of MPs.

          I don’t think we’ll be Leaving either but I want to see our Government openly disobey its people (rather than furtively as is usual) It will reveal the true nature of anti-democracy in the EU and both you and I should applaud the Brexit result for that.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

            Anonymous; “I expect many more would have voted to Leave had they not lived in fear of it rather more than they loved the EU.”

            Perhaps but then perhaps more would have voted to Remain had they not lived in fear of supposed unlimited immigration.

            “The EU is divisive – not a force for unity at all. For that alone it is a bad thing.”

            The UK Tory party is divisive, in fact any political party or system is, the USA is divisive, as is Russia, your logic suggests that not only should the UK have its Brexit but we should all decamp to planet Mars – stop the world and all that…. Divisive opinions, disagreements, doesn’t make those you disagree with “bad”.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            Answer to Jerry @ 7.03 Don’t be silly. (Decamping to Mars)

            I’d settle for us once more being a united Britain. It seems we are no longer even a united England !

            Especially if you continue to refuse to honour a clear democratic vote.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “Especially if [parliament] continue to refuse to honour a clear democratic vote.”

            The referendum asked a single yes/no question, should the UK remain a member of the European Union or leave. It did not ask either when or how we should leave, perhaps we need to have a “clear democratic vote” on those two latter questions now. Anyone up for that second referendum, this time asking how and when we should leave the EU, or perhaps Mrs May should just call a general election?

            On second thoughts!…

        • Chris
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Reply to Jerry: it seems that the Remainers are going through contortions to twist everything simply because they are unable to accept the result. Please consider if the referendum had gone the other way, with the same percentages. You would not have given the slightest consideration to the Brexiteers, had they lost, nor tried to conjure up all sorts of reasons why the vote might not be valid. Please accept, and be constructive i.e. adopt a mature attitude. This is a wonderful opportunity for this country.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            @Chris; With respect, the same comment could be written about those wanting Brexit. Do you really think that the Europhobes would simple have rolled over and embraced the EU and the needs of the Euro and ‘ever closer union’?!

            ” Please accept, and be constructive i.e. adopt a mature attitude.”

            Oh and calling those who wished to stay in the EU “Remaniacs” (with its obvious link to mental health disorders) and the like is being mature, as is ignoring the many hard but uncomfortable truths of actual Brexit? From were many sit, even some who voted for Brexit, it is not the europhiles who need to find some maturity.

      • getahead
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Also not true because it is the current Prime Minister, also a Remaniac, who is in charge of the negotiations. The Leave.EU and the Vote.Leave campaigns were always clear on what changes they wanted to make.
        It is the Remaniacs with their ties to big-business and banking who are having difficulties.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Complete nonsense Jerry
        Within a few weeks the Government has set up a new ministry dedicated to leaving the EU
        Appointed ministers and staff and set up office buildings.
        Opened negotiations with many non EU nations
        The PM has made numerous speeches saying Article 50 will be early next year and will not be debated in Parliament and met numerous EU member nation heads of State.
        Just a few things from many that are already happening.
        Yet you still carp on that either it won’t happen of its not happening or its too slow or too quick.

        • graham1946
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          One reason why delay is bad is that every day another 50 million quid goes from the UK to the EU. I personally also don’t like the delay and can’t see much reason for it but wouldn’t worry overmuch about how long the’negotiations’ take if we stopped paying in and could start using the money for the things our government says it can’t afford, like cancer drugs for instance. By the time Brexit is complete at least 30 billion will have been lost. Is that an acceptable figure? It’s almost enough to build Hinckley Point, which we apparently can’t afford to do and must pay through the nose over 35 years or more.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          @getahead; @Edward2; The truth really does seem to hurt you both, claim down, such bile and hatred…

          Even today the Vote Leave site doesn’t say, explicitly, that we will likely have to pay WTO tariffs to trade with the EU and their single market after actual Brexit unless the more radical Brexiteers are sidelined, nor does it state that the European Court is actually the lesser of two problem, after Brexit we will still be signed up to the ECHR and their Humans Rights rulings etc. (and it will be politically difficult, internationally, for the UK to pull out of the ECHR considering that the UK was one of its founders), nor does Vote Leave acknowledge the fact that as an island nation we could not fully secure our coastline during WW2, even if we can secure the Kent coastline the authorities have already discovered illegal migrants being landed off the West Sussex/Hampshire coasts and who knows were they have not been detected besides.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            More ridiculous hyperbole from you Jerry
            You claim “bile and hatred”
            Where is that evident in my post?

            Your reply moves onto other topics, carefully avoiding any points originally made.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            Then they will likely have to pay tariffs to trade with us.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; Tariffs on imports from the EU will hurt the UK economy far more than it will hurt that of the EU. Such tariffs will raise the shelf price of many UK sold goods that are of EU origin, that will in turn either cause inflation or non-availability. Then of course such tariffs will place many UK based companies -who source components or complete products from the EU, and then sell on- at a price disadvantage, if not just down-right uncompetitive compared to similar but EU based companies that are tariff free because they are based within the EU who are selling into the same globalised market as the UK companies are.

            I’m not saying that we, as a nation, could not over come such difficulties but it will need a sea change in domestic economic policies, something I do not see many on the right even wanting to debate (never mind do) – and when it is debated some start accusing others of wanting protectionism and the like.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            If we add 10% to our selling price and they add 10% to their selling price I do not see wha mtajor difference it will make to either side.
            I might have a greater propensity to purchase UK products rather than imports and companies in the UK might source from non EU nations raw materials or they might encourage UK suppliers to meet the demand.
            So as usual Jerry I feel you are a rather pessimistic.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:19 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Only if our trade was in balance, even after removing the “Rotterdam fudge” from the figures they are no where in balance, and how can you ‘Buy British’ when there is no such British made product because it was cheaper to buy from or make in the EU27?

            But thanks for demonstrating exactly what i was on about in my second paragraph above, you talk the talk but never do the walk by telling us when or where you expect that new widget factory [1] will be built. Not pessimistic, just realistic. I fear that until the sharks are circulating you, Edward, will carry on staring into the sand. Non so blind as those who choose not to see…

            [1] to replace the one closed and bulldozed many years ago, being replaced by a ‘just-in-time’ warehouse

          • Edward2
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

            What on earth are you rambling on about?
            Now you change your argument yet again demanding ecamped of widget factories.
            I’m baffled

          • Jerry
            Posted September 16, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “I’m baffled”

            Indeed you are, you do not appear to understand that if we do not make a product here in the UK (for example a widget) we have to import them, and if those imports cost 10% more once they have been given customs clearance and the tariff has been imposed the the importer has three choices, 1/. to absorb that 10% cost 2/. pass it on in the form of a higher price 3/. stop importing/using the component; all three have implications for the wider health of the UK economy – and to think you want us to believe you are or have been a company director!

          • Edward2
            Posted September 16, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

            If we don’t. ..

            And what if we do?

            Or what if a company decides there is a demand and a profit to be made and starts producing or providing.

            You haven’t got a clue about how business works.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 16, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “And what if we do?”

            If you mean that someone in the UK finally realise that there is, post Brexit, both a need and money to be made from actually making such widgets (or what ever) again in the UK, well that is and has been exactly my point, and for some years, glade that you have finally cottoned on!

            On the other hand, if you do not, and I still suspect you do not, then your comments read like a conference speech from one of those economically illiterate militant trade union barons of the 1970s, except that in your case the inflationary pressures won’t come from over-inflated wage claims but needless increases in (raw) material or subcomponent costs, and by then it will not be just those items that have been hit by tariffs but anything bought-in from outside of the UK because of the likely falls in the value of the GBP on the EX markets et. (due to the poor state of the economy) which will then add even further inflationary pressures.

            To use a Cricketing metaphor, I’m attempting to bat for Britain, not to sure who you are batting for, probably @Edward2….

          • Edward2
            Posted September 16, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            You are continually showing your lack of knowledge of how consumers and businesses react and interact.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; The tone of reply I expected from you Edward, basically the pot calling the kettle filthy again without any counter arguments, you are entitled to your opinions though.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 17, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            That’s very kind of you Jerry

      • acorn
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Have to agree Jerry. Slagging off remainers, just confirms the “goggle-eyed right wing nutters” image of the Leave faction.

        Unfortunately, it has become obvious that Brexiteer MPs, haven’t got a f*****g clue what to do next. JR’s Brexit action plan was so naive, it was embarrassing; but, could have got a “Blue Peter” badge. To be fair, like everything JR has to do as a Party MP, it was designed and aimed at Muppet voters, in a true general election campaign strategy style.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

          I think it is worth pointing out the irony of your post, where you begin by criticising those who “slag off remainers” and then in the next line you refer to those 17 million who voted to leave the EU as “google eyed right wing nutters”.

          • acorn
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            Did you spot the quotation marks? In fact I got the quote wrong. The full quote was, “The last thing we need is the swivel eyed right wing nutters trying to roll back workers rights now that we are heading out of the EU.” (Digital Spy Forums.)

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Then you finished by calling those that chose to leave the EU “muppet voters” at the end of your post.
            Using quotation marks when it’s also plainly your own opinion doesn’t count

          • Jerry
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:32 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; But @Acorn was stating a fact, as uncomfortable and unwelcome as it is. Most voters are “muppets”, they cast their votes along ideological lines without thought, few actually read the manifesto from the party they intend to vote for, never mind any other! Hence why politics and democracy so often come down to the few floating constituencies.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

            Abuse of others is not “a fact” Jerry.
            Like all who look down on others I expect you do not class yourself as a muppet voter.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; The truth appears to hurt you, you get very sensitive over the slightest word-play. Perhaps you need to actually look up what a “Muppet” is (or just replace the letter M with the letter P…), now tell us why such a description is not apt for someone who simply follows instructions from above -so to speak, doing someone else’s bidding for them, in this case for political parties/causes?

          • Edward2
            Posted September 16, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

            What on earth are you waffling on about?

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          “Unfortunately, it has become obvious that Brexiteer MPs, haven’t got a f*****g clue what to do next.”

          Probably because they now see the institutional forces weighing against them: the civil service, Lords, legal teams, the majority of MPs, the BBC …

          So now we’ve got down to insulting each other and swearing at each other where do we go next ? (You’re the most strident here, btw)


          Deny the democratic will of the people but be open and honest about it when you do it.

          I’ll give you that the split is 50/50 (it isn’t by any means, but I’ll give you it.)

          Even in that case we have a divided nation and one that would come to blows with language like that.

          For that reason alone the EU is a bad thing. Now magnify the problem across the EU.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            @Anonymous; No, they just see the realities, size, and complexity, of the task that a successful Brexit is. As I said the other day, Brexiteers are now in the same place politically as the LibDems were on the morning after they signed up to the coalition, full of good intent but knowing that somehow they now have to sell the hard reality, not just a dream.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            You hate it that the UK voted to leave the EU Jerry and I understand your grief but you do come across lately as a repetitive whiner.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; That comment says far more about you, and your ability to grasp the detail of an issue, than it does me or anyone else. Carry on acting like a Stalk on the sands…

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            Jerry – The Prime Minister offered a referendum in which it was a possibility that the people would vote to leave the EU.

            The Commons voted 6:1 in favour of a referendum in which it was possible that the people would vote to leave the EU.

            The Lords passed the European Referendum Act with the possibility that the people would vote to leave the EU.

            The European Referendum Act was given Royal Assent with the possibility that the people would vote to leave the EU.

            (All of this under the advice and guidance of experts at every stage.)

            Yet now we’ve voted to Leave Jerry says it is too complex and fraught with danger to do. Well why did we go through all that in the first place and why did so many important people vote in favour of a referendum at all ?

            It rather proves my point that there is institutional resistance to Brexit within the UK, rather than there being any deal breaking complexity with actually leaving the EU. Otherwise people outside of the civil service and federalist cabal would not have voted for it if it were unfeasable… or were they all swindling the public ???

          • Jerry
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            @Anonymous; You are taking conspiracy theory to a new fine art! 🙁

            But if you want the direct democracy you spout on about, if you want a timetable laid down by us Plebs and not those we elected only last year to run the country (I’m talking about MPs, not the ‘government’), then best we have that second referendum, allow the plebs to decide when and how we Brexit – you are making a very good case, do you sit in the HoL’s, after all they seem to want a second referendum too…

            Funny how so many who now complain that Brexit is to slow told me that there was no rush when I suggested that Article 50 should be triggered the Monday after the result, some also suggesting that the simple unilateral repeal of the 1972 Act of Accession is not an option because it would be far to complex, that we need to take time to consider what EEC/EU derived laws and regulations would need to be incorporated into UK law and what could be allowed to fall.

            But of course everyone knows what your problem really is, you and many commenting on this site are still smarting from the fact that a “Brexiteer” didn’t get anointed as the new Conservative leader and PM, thus Mr May can do nothing right.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

            You keep saying that phrase repeatedly on here Jerry
            It is meaningless

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Dear Dave–One reason why not is Cameron in his conceited arrogance literally (so I understand) forbade all planning so the Government has had to start from scratch. This is hard to believe I know but then again a lot of what he did (and was most proud of) is hard to believe.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink


        It was “gross negligence”, a “dereliction of duty”; “The Prime Minister says he’s staying and orders there to be no contingency planning, thereby making it quite impossible for him to stay in those circumstances since he would then be seen as negligent”; and moreover because he scuttles off, he does not put in the Article 50 notice as he had promised to do* – “If the British people vote to leave, there is only one way to bring that about, namely to trigger article 50 of the treaties and begin the process of exit, and the British people would rightly expect that to start straight away.” – and thereby gives the hardcore Remain supporters time to start up their legal cases in the hope of neutralising the result.

        * Commons, February 22nd 2016, Column 24 here:


        And now he’s giving up as an MP when he previously said he wouldn’t:


        “David Cameron says he intends to stand for re-election as MP in 2020”

      • Jerry
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton; Was that really the case or did Mr Cameron just forbid the civil service from giving assistance to the Brexit campaign, I also seem to recall that Government Ministers supporting the Brexit campaign were forbid access to official documents and the anger it caused.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        Yet another outrage from Cameron the list is almost endless.

        How can a resonsible government not cover both outcomes? It is sheer negligence. Heads should role.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Well, I read that Dickens justified his Jarndyce v Jarndyce plot line for Bleak House by referring to a real-life case which had then been stuck in Chancery for over fifty years, and in fact that case wasn’t abandoned until 1915 after 117 years:


      As the first vexatious case to try to keep us in the EU was only started shortly after the “wrong” referendum result was announced:


      “Law firm launches ‘Brexit’ challenge”

      and as with luck the Supreme Court should deliver a final verdict by the end of the year, that would only be a six months delay which is comparatively short.

      That’s unless the Supreme Court does what some of the diehards in the Remain camp would like, and refers the case on to the EU’s Court of Justice.

      Theresa May won’t kick it off before then because it would be contempt of court for her to kick it off before the courts have decided whether she has the legal power to kick it off without further authorisation from the UK Parliament, and also from the devolved bodies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and maybe Wales.

      The good news is that the EU and the other governments seem to accept that we will be leaving and expect that to happen, hence the heartening headline today:


      “King to become UK’s last EU commissioner”

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink


      “How did you vote in the General Election in June? Oh, that’s right, we didn’t have one. We had a referendum on membership of the European Union.
      So why are the political class behaving as if we actually held an election? We’ve got a new Prime Minister, new Cabinet, new policies on everything from grammar schools to corporate crime.”


      “What we haven’t got is any tangible progress on what 17.4 million British people really voted for almost three months ago [Brexit]”

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3786397/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-Philip-Green-charge-Brexit-d-pay-leave.html#ixzz4K8SEGNlA
      Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

      • acorn
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        “How did you vote in the General Election in June? Oh, that’s right, we didn’t have one.”

        An interesting point! Brazil lost a legitimate President by a right wing, CIA approved and encouraged, political Coup. Ukraine lost a legitimate President by a right wing, CIA approved and encouraged, political Coup. The UK, to all intents and purposes, lost a legitimate Prime Minister and his government, by a similar; BUT, typically British, political Coup.

        Why does this remind me of the “Freedom or Crucifixion” scene from Python’s Life of Brian? “Referendum? Yes Good … out of the door, polling booth on the left, one cross each.”

        Alas, the UK electorate is too dumb to realise when it is being screwed senseless by the 1%; the Americans are even worse. This goes with the current grammar school / education argument.

        The 1% elite, must never over educate the proletariat. The latter must only be educated to a level, and no more, that is useful for performing functions for the 1% ruling class.

        And you thought that “Brave New World” the novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, was a work of fiction 😉

        Reply Mr Cameron was removed by a democratic vote of the people!

        • acorn
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          WTF!!! You need to explain in detail:-

          “Reply Mr Cameron was removed by a democratic vote of the people!”

          Where was it written that a vote to leave the EU, was also a vote to change the Prime Minister and the government front bench? The sort of thing we expect to happen in a General Election vote.

          Or; is the Conservative Party planning to do away with General Elections?

          Reply I was asked endlessly on the media and at meetings whether the PM would resign if we voted Leave and I always replied that he did not have to but I thought he would, given how much he wanted to remain.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

          Reply to reply – Whichever way Mr Cameron was removed he deserved it. He took a biased role in the Brexit debate, as well as being at fault for destabilising Libya and causing the Med migration crisis.

          He put himself in that position.

          Acorn’s “Alas, the UK electorate is too dumb to realise when it is being screwed senseless by the 1%”

          Clearly not. They voted to leave the EU and I’m proud of them that they did – ignoring the lies and threats from the 1%.

          I’m glad to hear Acorn, Newmania, Reg, PvL et al’s lofty contempt for ordinary people on this site.

          Clearly the answer to their concerns is to limit voting rights to those with a minimum IQ and education.

          Their argument seems to be that Brexit will lead to the demise of this nation whereas I think it was joining the EU in the first place.

          Don’t expect Acorn to see that though. He/she is clearly far too clever to see my point.

        • graham1946
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          Acorn – Greece and Italy both had Prime Ministers removed by the EU and technocrats installed. Neither new PM’s had to suffer the indignity of facing an election, they were installed by the EU. Very democratic.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Have we even had an announcement about the rights of people to live in the UK if they arrived here since the “independence day” referendum. Or what T May proposes instead of a points based system?

      Why has 23rd June not even been made an independence bank holiday yet?

      • rose
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Good luck with Independence Day. Our council wanted to forbid St George’s Day from being observed because we have 91 languages spoken in our city.

  2. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    “Throughout the Referendum campaign the repeal of EU labour law was the dog which would not bark, because it was the dog that did not exist.”

    Quite right. During the campaign we had to spend time on this and similar issues, purely because claims were being made which had no basis in fact.

    This morning we ran on Ms O’Grady’s important opening statement to the Trades Union Congress yesterday, that “In this movement, we’re democrats. We accept what the British people have said.”

    Given the number of MPs, including the Labour challenger for leadership of his party, and members of the Lords, as well as other spokespersons, all talking of second referendums because they can’t accept the result, it’s important to acknowledge those who have now confirmed their belief in democracy.

    Readers can see our full article here: http://facts4eu.org/news.shtml

    Best wishes, the Facts4EU.org Team

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords do not agree.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Stuffed as it is with BBC think, wet, Lefties, Libdims, Cameronites, Luvvies and the likes.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Published today, from the Lords Select Committee on the Constitution:


      “The invoking of Article 50”

      “24. It would be constitutionally inappropriate, not to mention setting a disturbing precedent, for the Executive to act on an advisory referendum without explicit parliamentary approval – particularly one with such significant long-term consequences. The Government should not trigger Article 50 without consulting Parliament.”

      “27. In our representative democracy, it is constitutionally appropriate that Parliament should take the decision to act following the referendum. This means that Parliament should play a central role in the decision to trigger the Article 50 process, in the subsequent negotiation process, and in approving or otherwise the final terms under which the UK leaves the EU.”

      I am so disgusted with these people that it is better that I say no more.

      • rose
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Oh, to get back the hereditaries! Not only did they know their place and function, they were more conscientious too at scrutinising legislation. Quite a lot of legislation gets through now that doesn’t work.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 4:08 am | Permalink

          Nearly all new legislation does more harm than good.

  3. Richard1
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    We should not underestimate the capacity of the U.K. Parliament to cook up absurd regulation of its own without any help from the EU. Did I hear rightly yesterday that employers could be prosecuted if their employees commit fraud? I thought under our laws people are responsible for their own actions? What next, will an MP be subject to criminal prosecution if eg his secretary breaks the law? Perhaps the Prime Minister should be prosecuted if another minister does something wrong and has to be chucked out? I doubt we will see these kind of rules introduced anywhere in the public sector. Perhaps the problem is the professionalisation of politics – even on the Conservative side there are fewer and fewer with current real business experience. No wonder we get fatuous comments such as those made by silly, lightweight Liam Fox.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      @Richard1; ” Did I hear rightly yesterday that employers could be prosecuted if their employees commit fraud? I thought under our laws people are responsible for their own actions?”

      These proposed laws do nothing that the H&S Acts have not done, and why shouldn’t directors face (criminal) prosecution if they can not at least show that they took all reasonable steps to stop their employees committing such fraud. A company or director will, rightfully, face prosecution for wilfully allowing an unguarded hole in the floor, why should they not face prosecution for leaving a similarly unguarded hole in their IT systems, or what ever?

      • Richard1
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        A director who puts in place inadequate controls is incompetent and should be fired. That is not the same as having criminal intent. People should be prosecuted under the criminal law if and only if they themselves are suspected of a criminal action. People need to be held accountable for their own actions. This heaping of liability on business is yet more virtue-signalling leftism – it says we don’t like or trust profit making enterprises.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          Indeed but almost anything can not render one in breach of a criminal act in the UK if you are a landlord, company director or in business.

          Just being ill and filing documents late for example.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely correct Richard

  4. Jerry
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Most people will find your second paragraph is even more curious than what you yourself find curious about the apparent TUC and Labour Parties position! Now the facts are the public domain surrounding the Government/NCB’s then public and private lists of proposed pit closures, or the scope of anti-union laws, in the early 1980s few will find it ‘curious’ that the TUC and Labour Party do not believe, nor trust, a word emanating from a Tory government (or MP), unless and until actual deeds prove otherwise.

    Just because the dog didn’t bark, or there was no dog, doesn’t stop the acquisition of such a dog – even more so when an (internal party) power shift has occurred away from a GE.

    Reply There is and will be no dog! THis has nothing to do with the NCB in 1985!

    • Edward2
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Do you argue the contrary view just for the fun of it Jerry?
      One of your most odd posts. Quite eccentric.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; There was no list in 1983/4 either, so we were assured at the time, that’s the point! Cabinet papers released after 30 years have proved otherwise though, so and until your government incorporates current EU employment laws into post Brexit UK law how do you propose proving that there will be no dog?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Dear Jerry–The question and issue is or should be what did the lists represent. How exactly was the management supposed to manage without lists of pits that weren’t profitable? What did the country do exactly to have the likes of Scargill saying that a pit should be worked while there was still one piece of coal left miles underground and perhaps out beneath the sea?

        • Jerry
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          @Leslie Singleton; The problem wasn’t that there was a list, it was the NCB’s refusal to acknowledge such a list, there was little commercial confidentiality in such a list, there was also issues in the way the very effective colliery review procedure was suddenly sidelined by the NCB at the beginning of march 1984 – why did they do that unless they wished to close pits that would not otherwise have been closed under the aforementioned and agreed procedures?

          Uneconomic pits have always closed. Difficult, uneconomic, pits often remained open only because of the quality of the coal, not because miners wished to risk their lives just to have “a job for life”, even more so when any who did not wish to take redundancy would be transferred to another pit!

          I carry no flame for the NUM, never mind Mr Scargill, I’m just pointing out why the TUC and Labour Party likely take the stance they do.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    The real protection for workers is a buoyant job market and lots of available alternative jobs, should they not like the one they have. In many ways too much red tape kills competitivity and exports jobs. This makes things worse for workers not better. It also can mean they have to work alongside poor workers or worker who could not give a damn.

    Many UK schools, have a few rather dreadful teachers, clearly not up to the job, who are damaging lots of children’s education. Only very rarely are they actually removed.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      @LL; No, what you suggest is far from “real protection for workers”, it is simply a race to bottom, if all companies making widgets have similar working practices (as they will have, to stay competitive) and you’re trade/skill-set is making widgets how is a buoyant job market any protection for such people (unskilled people will be even less protected) in your idea of a take it or leave it utopia!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Nonsense, it is just supply and demand. More jobs mean higher pay and better condition. OTT government regulation generally means the reverse. Jobs just go overseas. Worker are left with Hobson’s choice take it or leave it.

      • Richard1
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Well observations in the real world say the opposite. The ‘bottom’ has been reached in those countries such as Venezuala where the market does not operate and the government sets wages, prices etc. We saw a milder version of the same nonsense in the UK in the 1970s. In many European countries today, highly protectionist sclerotic labour legislation – there to ‘protect’ workers – has created 25 – 50% youth unemployment. the workers’ lot has improved much more in recent decades in economies such as Hong Kong and Singapore – and in Europe eg in Switzerland – where there haven’t been powerful unions foisting these kind of labour controls on the market.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Your way you get lots of employee protection laws but very few employees or jobs available so the protection is pointless for most.

      • The Active Citizen
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, I wonder if you’ve ever made a widget, or employed anyone to make one? I have and continue to do so. Some were even JR’s constituents. And did you ever put your house on the line to invest in your business and employ people?

        As that wise old bird Bert Young says below, “With unemployment numbers falling, the market for labour increases; employers who do not offer competitive and attractive conditions will not attract.”

        Traditional English owners of SME’s tend not to be tyrants you know. We actually like our employees to be happy. Naturally there are always exceptions to any rule, but excessive regulation of employers will generally lead to a fall in the number of new jobs being made available.

        If you doubt this, look at France with its ‘Code du Travail’ (Employment rulebook) of more than 3,000 pages, full of the kind of nonsense which the EU would ultimately have foisted on all businesses in the UK. It’s no wonder that companies in France don’t want to take on more staff. Absurd regulations have partly caused unemployment there to be double the UK’s. Youth unemployment in France is now running at 23.7%.

        You can’t enjoy overly-generous terms and conditions if you don’t have a job in the first place.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Well said Active Citizen.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Exactly. Politicians are as usually trying to pretend they are giving you “protection” they are actually just decreasing you chances of a well paid job.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Good points. It is employers having to compete for employees that leads to rising pay, not laws. And children are disadvantaged by laws making it more difficult to fire bad teachers.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Which is why many employers like to have easy access to unlimited supplies of foreign labour, to stop the workers gaining too much of a bargaining advantage.

      I don’t particularly like the suggestion here today:


      “Moreover, when replacing freedom of movement we have a chance to minimise EU antagonism by crafting a “half-way house” system that acknowledges a continuing special relationship … we could go further and offer a speedier and simplified work-permit process, a presumption in favour of accepting most high-skilled EU applicants with a job offer and perhaps give them access to the whole social state after just a two years, unlike five years for a non-EU immigrant.”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      I read that Cameron consulted John Major before resigning his seat. What sort of person would want to take advice from John Major on anything at all after his record?

      But then what sort of person thinks that private schools, music schools, sports schools etc. should be able to select on ability and state schools should after 16 but not on academic ability before 16? It is just bonkers, thank goodness the man has finally gone. Why did the man not join the Libdems as he agrees with them on everything? I assume for personal career reasons!

      Do we really need any state schools at all? Just give education vouchers & tax relief to parents, to spent on their children’s education.

      Let us hope T May proves to be up to the job not many positive signs yet. She has not even scrapped HS2 yet nor decided on immigration rules or runways.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Osborne says it is a sad day. It is indeed sad that Cameron (with such open goal elections) threw it all away thanks to his duff Libdem compass. With him leading the party only by dishonestly pretending to be a Cast Iron, Eurosceptic, low tax Conservative at heart – when he was clearly just another dire Libdem. It is not sad he has gone at all.

        Osborne behaviour has, if anything, been even more dire, he should follow Cameron’s example and go too, taking Carney with him.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The BBC seems to have been outbid for The Great British Bake Off.

    Why is it that the BBC itself never seems to profit from these sales. It is surely not beyond the BBC to ensure they own some of these format rights. I suppose it is only public money, so why would they want to bother to do that?

    • Kenneth
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I agree. You would have thought a royalty coming back to the BBC would be standard in such contracts.

      Same with the NHS. How can managers go on the media saying that are not very good at their jobs and still keep them (I know they are not good at their jobs as I see the waste and inefficiency in hospitals for myself)

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but much of the BBC seems to be mainly about enriching the private companies, individuals and hangers on around the BBC. Few if any there care much about getting value for money for the public or ensuring valuable assets actually remain in BBC’s hands.

        Much better in the hands for the private companies and hangers on as they seem to see it.

        On you second point it is rather hard to fire people just because they are hopeless at their jobs even if they wanted to in the NHS or anywhere else. The poor employees know this too.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      @LL; The BBC have been stopped from owning such rights, they have been made to out-source much of their programmes and this has been the case for some years now, what has happened to “The Great British Bake Off” is nothing new nor anything that hasn’t been predicted and it will happen again (some have even suggested that programmes/brands the BBC do own, such as “Top Gear”, should be sold off.

      Not sure why you seem to be so upset though, judging from your opinions of the BBC I would have thought you would be very pleased with the commercialisation of -as you say- public money, get the public, via the BBC, to fund and popularise a product/brand that would otherwise have zero commercial prospects with out a huge and costly commercial advertising campaign etc, then later allow private enterprise to reap the rewards as soon as the revenue streams flow.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        My opinion of the BBC is that their political agenda is totally wrong headed. Lefty, greencrap, pro EU, anti-science, Guardian/Luvvie think drivel. An agenda that infects the whole country and distorts UK politics hugely to the left of what is sensible and works.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          @Lifelogic; Trouble is MR Lifelogic, your bile is always and only ever directed at the BBC even though other broadcasters are far more biased, if you mean really mean all broadcasters then stop using the phrase “the BBC” as shorthand, simply say broadcasters, otherwise you are simply being biased yourself -against the BBC.

          • Patrick Geddes
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            The BBC as you know is in a different position to other MSM businesses.
            So they should be far more careful to be balanced.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            @Patrick Geddes; Nonsense! There is no such thing as a free-to-watch TV channel in the UK and not many radio stations either, the consumer pays one way of another, some more than others. All Ofcom regulated broadcasters have a legal duty to be balanced, even more so at times of elections and referenda.

          • Patrick Geddes
            Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            As usual your understanding of the unique position and funding of the BBC is very limited.
            Direct funding via a TV licence fee is unique to the BBC
            And your claim that we pay in the same way for commercial broadcasters is bizarre and eccentric in the extreme.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            @Patrick Geddes; You really do not have a first clue as to how the television industry works. 🙁

            Yes, the BBC funding method is unique. I can choose to stop funding the BBC, because I can choose not to watch TV and thus any need a pay the TVL fee. On the other hand even the totally blind (who have little use for a TV, and are exempt from the TVL fee anyway) fund commercial and subscription TV [1], the only escape from paying for commercial TV is to take to the hills and the “Good Life” -become totally self sufficient…

            [1] if the latter broadcast paid for adverts

          • Patrick Geddes
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

            Sorry Jerry I forgot you are an world authority and all you say is right.
            Please forgive me I had forgotten your brilliant point that the TV licence is not compulsory because you can avoid it by not owning a TV
            Truly stunning logic
            Well done.
            As you are always right on this I shall bow down and say no more.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I suppose the problem the BBC have is they were forced by politicians – Conservatives included – to open up their programming to independent producers for the sake of competition and those independents can sell their formats to the highest bidder.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        You can use independent producers yet still keep ownership of the format and programme rights!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        The point is the people involved perhaps do not care if the BBC owns valuable assets, they would rather their mates and the BBC hangers on did probably.

      • Mark
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        The BBC simply made all their producers “independents” running their own companies – and thereby evaded scrutiny of their pay and expenses.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

          Indeed and the valuable assets always seem not to belong to the BBC, how surprising!

          • Jerry
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            @LL; Until around the mid 1980s that was not the case…

    • Know-dice
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      For what it’s worth…

      A quick check at Companies House shows that the producers of “The Great British Bake Off” – Love Productions, seems to be mainly owned by BSKYB…

  7. Antisthenes
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    How we regulate and legislate labour influences how competitive we are and as we trade world wide we do need a competitive edge. Low labour costs can help us sell our goods and services at home and abroad. Being a member of the EU has increased our labour costs considerably and many other production and services costs as well. The single market mitigates some of that effect as other member states are subject to the same rules and regulations. However that makes the EU not as competitive when dealing outside it’s borders so Brussels employs protectionism to protect it’s companies.

    Brexit will mean that we will have to remove many of the laws and rules imposed by Brussels if we wish to trade successfully and that may mean lighter employment laws than we currently have. We either go for so called social justice or sensible wealth creating rules and laws. The former is not the path to prosperity the latter is from which social justice can also prosper in a way that is sustainable.

  8. Bert Young
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    With unemployment numbers falling the market for labour increases ; employers who do not offer competitive and attractive conditions will not attract ; EU stipulated laws have little or no influence . There may be a case for the market in temporary employees – particularly those in the agricultural sector ; special protective measures probably are important for them .

    All regulations from the EU put a bad taste in my mouth ; we never did – or need now , any outside body telling us what we can and cannot do .

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    But what the Leave campaign said they wanted is irrelevant now. If Mrs May wants to remove EU labour laws then she’ll do it. The campaign conflated two things: leaving the EU and what laws we should have after we left. In fact Brexit may mean we have more or less stringent labour laws, it depends solely on the government in power. That’s the point.

  10. Iain Gill
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I think the unions could do a lot better for their workers.
    Like the Westminster political class senior union folk suffer from “group think” and miss the obvious from inside big unionised workforces.
    On equality they have failed massively as discrimination against the white working class is widespread, and it’s the only discrimination they never speak out against.
    On gender equality, they fail to understand who works the weekends, does the short notice long periods away from home, who takes the biggest risks, on average, and so on, and they don’t build these into their model of the world.
    On working conditions they have helped some big companies outsource much of their work to organisations with much lower standards and helped the drive to lower standards of working conditions.
    They fail to notice the foreign outsourcers sailing aherm very close to the wind on employment and other legislation, and yet seemingly for want of not looking racist they never criticise these organisations even when their members are lobbying them to do so. They never criticise the (questionable practices ed) prevalent in some of the foreign outsourcers operating here.
    Their stance on immigration over the years like the Labour party has allowed many proud decent working class neighbourhoods to have descended into the worst places to live in the country.
    They have failed to support the large communities left behind when dominant employers shut from the mines, to the shipyards, to steelworks, to car factories. They have failed to engage in the reasons the people left behind are barred from seeking success thereafter, such as the inertia in the social housing system, the way schools are allocated, and so very much more.
    They have failed to understand the worldwide dynamics on emissions and health and safety, and have been part of the problem which forced good businesses to move production abroad as rules here became far too expensive, and have been part of the problem which shifted pollution abroad and not reduced it worldwide as business was forced to move. Decimating their own members jobs.
    I would have been a proud Jarrow marcher if I had been alive at the time, but the modern union movement is a pale reflection of those decent people.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Iain – Worst of all the unions have repeatedly used their power for personal political agendas rather than for the good of their own members.

      In many jobs they have stripped away entry requirements which were deemed discriminatory on sex and race lines. Such as scientific and language aptitude testing. In the end this gives grounds for being able to wilfully ignore better qualified white male applicants.

      Ever wondered why (despite mass recruitment) there always seem to be reduced services owing to ‘staff shortages’ in some vital trades ?

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 14, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        yep and if you look at infant teaching they have done everything they could to keep men out of the classroom, in ways which if it were the other way around would be front page news

        equality for them is only equality when it fits their agenda

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I think it’s quite hypocritical of the TUC and Labour to want to maintain EU law.
    It is precisely the open borders policy which has spawned the likes of Sports Direct and others.
    Flooding the Labour market with educated young people drives down wages and encourages zero hours
    When you can earn two or three times the home country salary you are prepared to live in barrack style accommodation and put up with rubbish conditions
    If these are the conditions Labour and the TUC want to preserve God help us.
    The EU is a job destroying scheme. Look at Southern Europe.

  12. Kevin
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    JR writes: “The TUC and the warring Labour party both agree that the UK’s minimum standards for employees…should not be watered down.”

    There is a massive loophole in workers’ protection about which I see neither the T.U.C. nor any political party showing any concern, viz., if you want to deprive someone of a living, impose on him a legal obligation, backed by threat of punitive sanctions, to provide goods or services in circumstances that (common sense dictates) would go against his conscience.

  13. Tad Davison
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, I received an e-mail from my local MP regarding a forthcoming meeting to discuss environmental matters post Brexit. I am not quite sure what the meeting intends to highlight, or if it is going to warn us that the sky is now going to cave in and our environment cannot possibly survive outside the European Union. It could be interesting. If I can get along, I will report back.

    Dear Tad,

    I wanted to flag my upcoming meeting on Friday regarding the implications of Brexit on the environment because in the past you have raised similar issues with me and I thought it may be of interest.

    On Friday 16 September we will be discussing the impacts on the environment and how Brexit will affect environmental protections and future legislation.

    We will hear from Fiona Harvey, an award-winning environment journalist for the Guardian and Martin Garratt from Cambridge CleanTech and Kerry McCarthy MP, former Shadow Environment Secretary.

    I look forward to seeing you on Friday.

    Yours sincerely,

    Daniel Zeichner
    Member of Parliament for Cambridge

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      The negative impact on the environment post Brexit makes a feature on every episode of Country File.

      Combine this with the near silence in the broadcast media over HC’s health (it would have been given top billing had it been DT doing very strange things.)

      This is like something out of the USSR in terms of propaganda.

    • Richard Butler
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Ah I’ve battled this Remoaner classic over and again. Clegg cheerlead this particular project fear brand of nonsense by implying an independent nation is unable to work and co-operate across borders on security, the environment and other global matters.

      195 nations recently signed the Paris Agreement on climate change action as but one of thousands of examples.

      Here’s another recent example of the kind of cross-border co-operation the likes of Clegg, Farron and Toynbee say is impossible unless in the EU;

      Towards a closer EU-Australia Partnership

      Brussels, 22/04/2015

      The EU and Australia are likeminded partners on the international stage. We are committed to promoting prosperity and security in both our regions

      Today, on behalf of the EU and Australia, we agreed to move our relationship to a new strategic level by officially concluding the negotiations for the EU Australia Framework Agreement. This treaty will provide a strong basis on which to further develop our cooperation on foreign and security policy,


    • getahead
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Tell them Tad that you will do your bit, and you expect the Council to continue to empty the bins.

  14. Kenneth
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I disagree with this post (and therefore the TUC).

    Contracts are a matter for the parties involved and I would prefer the government did not interfere with them, including employment contracts.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Indeed outside a very few areas it is jut top down, command economy socialism by the back door. The assets and business may be nominally yours, but the government will tell you how to run it.

      Osborne’s wage controls are even worse than Ted Heath’s moronic attempted controls in 1972 – the useless Tories have learned nothing in 44 years?

      As Mr. Powell rightly put it:- Does my right hon. Friend not know that it is fatal for any Government or party or person to seek to govern in direct opposition to the principles on which they were entrusted with the right to govern? In introducing a compulsory control of wages and prices, in contravention of the deepest commitments of this party, has my right hon. Friend taken leave of his senses?

      Heath, Major, Osborne, Blair, Brown, Clegg, Cameron …… what is the difference all were/are wrong on almost everything?

      • Kenneth
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        That’s why I am not keen on the current socialist government.

        However where is the alternative? Even UKIP have got wet.

        The problem they have is that to get on as a politician you need to be on the telly. Effectively that’s the BBC.

        To get on the BBC you need to be a socialist.

        Look at the lost souls of Mr Tebbit and Mr Redwood (amongst many others) , consigned to the odd 5 minutes on World at One if they are lucky

        It’s not a good career move to be on the Right of politics!

  15. forthurst
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    “Big businesses are the ones most likely to want to dilute these standards.”

    TTIP appears to have been forestalled by activists and diligent legislators on the Continent; however, in its place has been put CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) which purports to be a free trade agreement between Canada and the EU; it is nothing of the sort since any of the US corporations who have an operation in Canada or would have one, can piggy-back into the EU including us, and once again we have “Investor-state dispute settlement” ie the corporations having their own extra-terrestrial jurisdictions to fine nation states for depriving them of ‘expected profits’. Needless to say, there is oppoition to this as well; however, the Brussels regime is not concerned with public opinion so intends to sign a deal in the Autumn.

    We need to be ever cautious when signing trade deals to always read the small print.
    Did Mrs May read the small print over the sale of ARM Holdings to the Japs? No, because the small print said that the majority of the shareholders were foreign, so most of the cash would be going to outfits like BlackRock so all that had been achieved was a loss of British control of a major and unique force in the digital revolution.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      A leading light of ‘Open Britain’, Osborne’s great friend, Mandelson is calling for foreign corporations to demand that we stay in the Single Market, as he would, being the great patriot he and the rest of his ilk undoubtedly are.

  16. rose
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Remainiacs and leftwingers love to use the phrase “a race to the bottom” against the concept of national independence. But nothing guarantees a race to the bottom more than out of control mass immigration – in housing, transport, health, education, work, environment etc. This country could manage well with a population of 35 million which it was on course to achieve before the policy of encouraging mass immigration was adopted. All the most civilized welfare states in Northern Europe had tiny populations by comparison, though they are alas jeopardising their advantages now. High wealth per capita and good quality of life, not a huge GDP and a race to the bottom, are what we want. Unfortunately the Left relies for its votes on continuing mass immigration and it would rather be in power than have a contented people. Consequently a huge exercise in propaganda has been mounted over the years to convince us we have to have mass immigration to prosper. But the House of Lords Report has now shown it up for what it is: just lies. There is no benefit to the native population from mass immigration, and there is a huge cost to the taxpayer.

    • rose
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Big business has also had an interest in mass out of control immigration: they don’t need to train anyone, there is a large pool of educated people to choose from, and they can pay rock bottom wages with inconsiderate treatment. The TUC should think about this.

      • rose
        Posted September 13, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        “they can pay rock bottom wages ” leaving it to the tax payer to top up with benefits in money and kind.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    In fact there are quite a few instances where national law was better for employees than EU law, leave entitlement being one example.

  18. agricola
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Not complex, repeal the 1972 communities act and at the same time incorporate all the law within it into English Law. Such law then becomes, as all other law, subject to change if Parliament so wishes. It is English law being changed by a sovereign Parliament.

    In terms of commerce, all markets have their regulations which wise suppliers comply with, so we do just that. If there are regulations that effectively control what we do in the UK alone then we have a choice, continue with them if thought beneficial or abandon them. Whatever we do however should be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

    Many remainers ,who refuse to lie down, will claim that it is all very much more complex than this and try to tangle the process in a web of indecision. Jobs for the boys lawyers will look upon it as a golden opportunity. They are best ignored until they have something sensible to say that is not tied to some vested interest inclusive of legal argument for it’s own sake..

  19. adam
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Any democracy in China yet

    Anybody ever hold the unions accountable for all the job losses in the North.

  20. hugh rose
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see a variable rate of VAT allowed. So if thought desirable, UK could remove VAT entirely from bandages, tampons etc and impose very high rates on luxury items.

    It would allow government to encourage healthy behaviour, reduce tax on essential products to reduce the cost of living, raise revenue from those who can best afford it.

  21. Richard Butler
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    This interesting letter appeared in The Telegraph;


    SIR – In 1992, a slight majority of Swiss voters refused to join the European Economic Area (50.3 per cent to 49.7 per cent).
    According to the pundits – and most national newspapers – the country was going to break up. (It was indeed divided between a French-speaking Europhile minority and a German speaking anti-European majority.) The economy was going to crash and the Swiss franc was to be worth less than the Zimbabwean dollar.
    Calls for a second vote came, and companies warned they were ready to leave the country. Local authorities talked of individual cantons joining the EU. The government was warning of a massive haemorrhage of talent.
    None of this happened. Instead, after a slight recession, the economy started to grow again. Nowadays, even if the country’s relationship with the EU is far from settled, almost no one seriously envisages joining the EU or the all-but-defunct EEA. As Britain goes through similar times, it is worth remembering this.

    Nicholas Antenen
    Geneva, Switzerland

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      The erudite Denis Cooper may have competition in the form Richard Butler, judging by his last two comments.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 14, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        I make no claim to erudition!

    • Newmania
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      Yes and Switzerland has Freedom of movement as well as a a series of bilateral trade agreemeents which work so badly that it is obliged to set up its banking industry in the City of London
      Not for much longer is Redwood gets his way though so we can kiss goodbywe to all the jobs they bring

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 14, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        “Not for much longer is Redwood gets his way though so we can kiss goodbywe to all the jobs they bring”

        And there was I thinking that the City was there, with its large wages and bonuses, because of it’s dynamism and talent.

        Not only has the banking industry been bailed out by the taxpayer for its part in the Credit Crunch now Newmania informs us that it needs the working class taxpayer to endure EU freedom of movement (a form of taxpayer subsidy) so that the denizens of the SE can continue to enjoy record house price growth and an everlasting London shindig.

        I’m sure the bankers will show us how to do the competitivity thing and make it work. You know. The knuckle down or ‘on yer bike’ advice factory workers got despite being them in the EU.

        Like the City will be any better protected by continued EU membership in the long term – particularly with fiscal union and a Tobin tax.

  22. The Active Citizen
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I found your final para about big business (‘Reason 3’) very interesting, JR.

    Over several years of reading your diary I can’t recall you saying anything about big business in quite the same way. I’m a natural supporter of business and entrepreneurism, but isn’t it interesting how the Remain campaign highlighted some things about our big businesses in particular?

    1. Mass immigration over many years offered UK big business a large pool of cheap labour. The full cost of this imported labour was (and is) of course borne by the taxpayer, in extra health, education, transport, legal, housing, local authority and many other costs.
    2. With an abundant supply of imported labour – due mainly to the appalling unemployment which the EU has caused across Europe – no recruitment and training of the indigenous workforce was required.
    3. Many chief execs made pro-EU statements without thinking for one moment about their shareholders or indeed their customers.
    4. Threats of large job losses were made, and all the other Project Fear claims were reinforced before the vote. Several high profile companies have now been forced to backtrack on their alarmist announcements and reverse them completely.
    5. Most chief execs of large companies are merely managers – very highly-paid employees. They didn’t set up the businesses and nor did they put their own money in, when it was early days and when they could have lost the lot.
    6. Many engaged in ‘group-think’ on the EU question, slavishly following the increasingly desperate FT line which has earned its Editor France’s highest honour: the ‘Legion d’Honneur’ from the French President.

    Fortunately there were exceptions of course. However in the same way I haven’t named the worst culprits on the Remain side, I won’t name names here of those who stood out proudly against the overwhelming tide of propaganda from the business Remainers.

    A year ago you kindly posted a piece from me about negotiating, post-Brexit. I very much hope that when it comes to the trade and Brexit negotiations, we won’t find only ‘the great and the good’ invited in to help advise the new International Trade Dept and the new Brexit Dept? Here’s what I wrote on your site a year ago:

    “Trade Team UK
    Led by a Pro-UK Brexit-voting Chancellor and with a Foreign Secretary in the same mould, the teams will be filled with experienced and commercially-savvy people. Preferably some entrepreneurs of SMEs in the latter part of their careers who have a sense of public duty. Plus the likes of Digby-Jones, Cruddas, Mills, Moynihan, Wheeler, Mellon, Banks, Tice, Seymour-Williams, Dyson, for their big business experience. Purchasing types, civil servants, and some FCO mandarins can be in the support teams, but they’re not the ones who should lead in any way.”

    As for politicians, I’d like to see you in there, together with Owen Paterson, Steve Baker and Peter Lilley. Lead lawyer: Martin Howe QC.

    Anyway, very interesting comment of yours about big business, JR.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      What we have seen is the development of the corporate state in the UK and elsewhere in the West along the lines of the Party state in the old USSR.The USSR was never communist in practice,it never moved beyond state capitalism.

  23. ian
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    What happens when the parliament is left to make all the laws with the party in power able to over rule the lords with executive powers, it will be a return to the old days of party politics where one get in power changes all laws that the other party has brought in and some new laws that the other party does not like so when they get back in it will be all change again.
    Without knowing it, that why the 48% voted to stay in the EU and the 52% voted out because they did not like a overseas power making most of the laws in their country but do not realise they going back to the old days of politics with union playing a big roll as all rest of the parties line up against the con party.

    This is why i tell people that it important more than ever to take control of your parliament before they get started with backward and forwards politics with big business trying to take over your treasury, it can only end in one way and that is failure, going forward the people and the country must have clear cut laws and only way to make that happen is for the people themselves to do the voting like in the EU referendum, a clear cut vote or decision by the people which can look at again in a few years to see if that laws is working or whether the people to change it because they decide they do not like and want to change it, if you want to succeed as a people and a country, only you can do it in your own way, to listen to politician smooth talking and their party politics propaganda will lead you to ruin.

    As for the EU deal politician of the con party will be doing on your behalf in secret, that means you will fine out about the deals a few year down the road when they are force to tell you about them because they will not be in your favour that why they are secret deals and you will have no say.

    You only have to look at the two most important institution you have education and health care and how they change them every time there is a new leader of the country and nothing seems to get better only worst as they fail time and time again, do you really want to keep voting for failure or take control yourselves.

  24. ian
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    All politician are good for now is privatizing gains and socializing losses.

  25. James Neill
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    With all of the comments posted so far I am surprised as I thought the referendum result was very clear – so lets get on with it.. send all the undesirables home and block everyone else from coming in. We don’t need trade with Europe as we can do a better deal with New Zealand and Australia China and Canada. All foreigners that want to come to UK should first have to apply for a visa and then only be allowed here for a very limited period. The 350 Million pounds per week saved should be put to the NHS instead of Europe. Lets show these EU types that we mean business.

  26. Newmania
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Big business is there to make a profit and as such need not consult any political Party still less a rabid Nationalist movement intent on putting up barriers between us and our largest trading partner.
    There is an unpleasant totalitarian streak at the heart of Brexit . One minute we are being told to cheers up and sing the Brexit song , next that export is a “duty “ (…to whom I wonder) and that playing golf and being overweight are no longer allowed .
    I can see Spode marching to the tune of Brexit in his unseemly black shorts, “ Wooster WOOSTER put that putter down shout Hoorah for Brexit , Glossop must you eat quite so much ? ”

    Actually to the disgust of the Purple Tories Cameron dropped a load of manifesto reforms to woo the Unions onto the Remain side . The unopposed Tory hard right and its UKIP allies will , of course sit on their hands and put up with this …… As John so convincingly tells us, after years of Labour and coalition legislation at times gold plating EU directives and the influence of the EU which , of course Mr Redwood is grateful for , he regards the present position as perfect ….

    The deal is not yet done and nothing can be trusted until it is . I trust the TUC have the brains to work this out .

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Big business cannot expect to go on undermining the UK workforce by importing cheap labour at the expense of the ordinary taxpayer, whilst minimising its corporate tax contribution via offshore havens.

      It is unreasonable that big business want us to take the imposition of EU laws, regulations, directives and mass immigration – with fiscal union (distribution of our wealth) to come.

      On the 23rd June The People – in the face of the gravest warnings – decided that such business they could do well without; what’s more they were right.

      Big business – though I’m sure it’s neutral on politics – clearly imposes a political system on us by demanding that we remain in the EU and are ruled by it.

      • newmania
        Posted September 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        The evidence that Freedom of movement has had a downward effect on wages is thin. The working age adults and highly qualified incomers have contributed to economic growth and generally settled in hot parts of the economy.
        The exception to this may be at low end retail and the bete noire of the Guardian Sports Direct. Sports Direct is loved by families on a budget trying to clothe children at a low cost, perhaps you would prefer poorer people` to be more identifiable when they go to school ?

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink


          – the government had to introduce a minimum wage… to stop the race to the bottom

          – the government had to introduce help-to-buy to compensate for the downward adjustment of real earnings and inflation of essentials such as shelter

          – the country’s debt keeps growing (if these jobs were paying appropriate wages ergo appropriate tax then why ?)

          – the NHS is in crisis and overloaded (as with all services) if it were true that more migrants=better wages=more tax then why is everything in crises ?

          I don’t want there to be poor people at all. So how does your importation of more and more poor people help with that then ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      “Actually to the disgust of the Purple Tories Cameron dropped a load of manifesto reforms to woo the Unions onto the Remain side . The unopposed Tory hard right and its UKIP allies will , of course sit on their hands and put up with this ……”

      Which is why Mr Cameron had to leave the party, some say the grammar school promise made him leave politics. (I’m glad he left because of what he did in Libya.)

      Pragmatism and flexibility has been shown on both Red and Purple sides of the Tory party. The Purple side won but are still in the minority.

      I wish all Parliamentary candidates could be made to wear an EU badge at election times – so that there is no confusion as to how we’ve ended up with Blairite-socialists in the Tory government.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        We used to preserve the expression ‘hard right’ for such as the Nazis or BNP – not the likes of John Redwood who is nothing of the sort.

  27. Peter Parsons
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    If workers rights will be safe post-Brexit, why did the business minister refuse to say so today in the House of Commons?


    • Anonymous
      Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      It goes without saying but I clearly need to say it anyway:

      If Parliament accepts the democratic will owing to Brexit then it will accept the democratic will when it comes to workers’ rights.

      If Parliament does not accept the democratic will owing to Brexit then we will be ruled by the UNdemocratic will owing to the EU.

      There is no greater threat to workers’ rights than freedom of movement. Even those with jobs in economic hotspots are worse off. They have to compete with more people to get a job, and for more stretched local resources whether they get that job or not.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted September 14, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        The “democratic will” in Parliament is not the same as the democratic will from a referendum. The current government is there on the back of less than a quarter of registered electors. They don’t have a mandate from the majority and don’t need to govern in the majority’s interest, just the interests of the few tens of thousands of swing voters they need in the marginals.

        All the minster had to say is “the rights will be maintained”. She chose not to.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          Democratic will is represented better than a mere quarter of registered voters, Peter. Many of those who voted Labour have Labour MPs representing them in Parliament.

          The ones most under represented are UKIP voters. So Parliament should be far more Eurosceptic than it is.

          If the Tories want a Labour landslide then they need only neglect workers’ rights a little too much.

          There is no such corrective if we become further politically enmeshed with the EU.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            How much Labour party policy has been passed in parliament since last May? Having MPs doesn’t relate to a group of voters “democratic will” being expressed in parliament, only a group which comprises a majority of MPs can do this.

            Equally, your example of UKIP shows just how broken UK democracy is. The UK system allows parties to simply ignore the vast majority of the electorate as most of us live in safe seats where one party know they will win no matter what and the others know they can’t. Policies and campaigns are targetted at those few tens of thousands in the marginals who can swing an election, something most of us have zero ability to influence. To have a parliament which really expresses democratic will, we need a democratic system where, in elections, every vote matters and every vote counts towards the final result in some way (which was the case in the EU referendum), but many politicians don’t want us to have that, they’d rather keep a system where the single largest group of voters is the “didn’t vote”, and most of the rest are, in reality, irrelevant.

  28. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I thought that Pritti Patel wanted a more deregulated labour market.

  29. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Labour laws are the modern opium of the people. They distract from the need to get real wages up by restricting immigration and the need to get house prices down. That’s right, Mr Redwood, D-O-W-N down.

    The ratio of the average house price to average income in London is now over 9. That’s obscene. The Government’s answer to this is to impose more house building on the parts of the Home Couties outside the green belt, which will dump some of the problem on us.

    Try curbing immigration severely to reduce demand – no permanent immigration for at least 20 years, and only 30,000 one year work permits per annum, renewable annually.

    Simultaneously, begin raising interest rates slowly so that average house prices fall by 2.5% per annum while real wages rise by 2.5% per annum. That should do the trick without causing too much negative equity and too many repossessions.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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