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I have quoted from the “Thick of It” in several of my blogs.  This is another issue that befits a quote from my favourite TV programme.  
 
When Jamie stopped following Malcolm Tucker’s orders and started to pursue his own objectives unfettered by Tucker's control and guidance  Ollie famously said “Don’t tell me he has gone feral cos he was #€¥~#}^* terrifying when you had him on the leash.”  That pretty much sums up how I feel about the Tories, a Brexit and what they will do to workers’ rights if their attack dogs are no longer on the EU leash.  

accident lawyerThe simple fact is, that with the exception of the national minimal wage, every piece of legislation in the last 25 years which has advanced, promoted or protected workers’ rights that has entered the UK statute book has been because of EU Treaties, Directives and rulings of the European Court. We are talking every law on health and safety, rules regarding working time, equal pay, equalities, maternity rights. The list goes on and on and on.  
 
When the history books come to be written about our current government and when they seek to describe the single policy that defines the Government’s tenure they will not talk about austerity or benefit cuts.  Instead the overarching objective threading its way through significant amounts of the Tories legislative programme is no less than the complete and utter destruction of the Trade Union movement and workers’ rights.  In short, Cameron and Osborne are out, as they see it, to finish the work that Thatcher started.  They are zealous for that goal in the true biblical sense of the work.
 
They have attacked Trade Union funding through LASBO; attacked individual rights by doubling the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims; delivered a platinum sealed gift to big business in their efforts to prevent mistreated employees obtaining justice through the Employment Tribunal system by introducing tribunal lodging fees; and put back the clock on health and safety rights by more than 100 years.  This aggressive legislative onslaught against Trade Unions and Workers’ rights has currently (and only currently because there will be more) culminates in the malevolent bill winding its way through the Palace at Westminster - the Trade Union Bill.  
 
They have done all of this despite being hampered by European Law.  Health & Safety is the paradigm. There is a rich seam of health and safety laws under EU Directives and Treaties which the UK are currently obliged to enforce as members of the EU. Despite that, through Section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act they have been able to strip health and safety laws to the bare minimum.  In fact there is a very strong argument that the UK are already in breach of EU law but that is another blog for another day; and if we do not Brexit another challenge to the European Commission and European Court.  The point for this blog is that the Tories have stripped health and safety laws as far as they believe they can.  In their eyes they are hampered from doing any more (despite their deep and religious desire to do so) because of the European Union and European Law.
 
In terms of health and safety laws the UK are on the EU leash but, as sure as night follows day and as transparent are the motives of Boris and Osborne are in taking opposite sides in the EU debate (playing callous future prime minister poker with the rights and protections of UK citizens), if there is a Brexit the very first thing that the Tories will do is immediately introduce legislation to remove every single health and safety and employment rights protection that exists the UK law.
 
The simple, sad but terrifying reality is that if we Brexit on the Thursday, the Tories will introduce the No Health and Safety and No Employment Rights Bill 2016 on the Friday.  And while workers’ rights burn the Tories will not fiddle they will dance a victory jig.
 
That is why I will be voting to stay in the European Union and would encourage anyone who believes in workers’ and collective rights to do the same.  

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