There is no doubt, UKIP and the hard right of the Tory Party will be crowing if Britain votes to leave the European Union on June 23rd. What will follow is a likelihood of a leadership contest within the Conservative Party, leading to a Thatcherite leader who will lead Britain's exit strategy.
The Tory supporting gutter press will also be crowing, with headlines proclaiming draconian legislation to to tackle immigration and the rights of immigrants already in Britain. Meanwhile, quietly being swept in under the carpet will likely be an erosion of workers rights.
One such piece of EU legislation likely to go will be the EU Working Time Directive. This legislation states:
To protect workers’ health and safety, working hours must meet minimum standards applicable throughout the EU.
The EU’s Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) requires EU countries to guarantee the following rights for all workers:
If as we strongly suspect such legislation is abolished under the Tory exit strategy, cheered on by UKIP, this will have a serious impact on working people in Britain. With such rights taken away, unscrupulous employers will demand workers accept contracts of virtually unlimited hours, have little holiday entitlement and few rest breaks.
Leaving the EU and the loss of such entitlements will be a major step back towards the days of our radical Wessex forefathers in the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who long ago fought for their rights. They, and others who followed them, did not struggle for us to surrender our rights on June 23rd 2016.
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