Despite her pre-election pledge to guarantee all worker’s rights after Brexit, Theresa May has appointed a former Tory MEP who wants to scrap Paid Holidays and Maternity Leave – amongst many other crucial rights – to her top Brexit negotiating team.
After the resignation of Joyce Anelay as Minister of State for Brexit, Theresa May has acted quickly to replace her, handing the job to Martin Callanan – now Baron Callanan – a former Tory MEP who has frequently expressed a rabid desire to scrap virtually every worker’s right that British employees currently benefit from.
Many congratulations to Lord Callanan, new Brexit Minister of State. Can’t think of anyone with better contacts or more detailed knowledge.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) October 27, 2017
Lord Callanan spent 15 years as a Tory MEP for the North East England Constituency and led the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Pariament.
However Callanan lost the election in 2014, becoming becoming the first ever sitting chairman of a European parliamentary group to lose his seat.
And, in a highly controversial speech to the European Parliament in 2012, Callanan said:
Surely one of the best ways for the EU to speed up growth is to scrap the Employment and Social Affairs directorate in the commission, and repatriate its responsibilities to national governments.
Then we could scrap the Working Time Directive, the Agency Workers’ Directive, the Pregnant Workers’ Directive and the other barriers to actually employing people.
You can watch Callanan’s speech below:
Lord Callanan – a regular contributor to Tory blog Conservative Home – has also written about his disdain for Health and Safety laws – rules that ensure European workers are protected from being killed or seriously injured at work – describing them as a “brake on our economy”.
In appointing such an extreme right-wing anti-worker politician to her Brexit negotiating team, Theresa May has signaled her priorities for Britain’s outlook after leaving the European Union – and it’s a grim prospect for ordinary British workers.
If the Tories get their way on scrapping the EU regulations that Callanan has vehemently rallied against, British workers could no longer be entitled to:
- Paid Holidays
- Maternity Leave
- Paternity Leave
- Equal Pay for Women
- A Safe Working Environment
- Fair Treatment for Agency and Part Time Workers
The Trades Union Congress said that:
Mr Callanan’s suggestions would put workers at risk, not just of exploitation but of serious harm, and in places like hospitals they risk putting patients lives at risk
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— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) October 30, 2017
Despite consistently voting against them in Parliament, Theresa May promised to guarantee worker’s rights after Brexit. But by putting such a brazen anti-worker politician as Callanan in charge of Brexit – as if any more proof was really needed – it is a clear indication that the Tories simply cannot be trusted with our hard-earned rights.
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