Labour MEPs: Political Declaration offers no guarantees, no certainty and no future

Labour MEPs: Political Declaration offers no guarantees, no certainty and no future

29 November 2018

Earlier this week, EU leaders approved two key documents in the Brexit process – the Withdrawal Agreement (Theresa May’s proposed deal with the EU) and the Political Declaration. The declaration sets out what the UK and EU’s relationship may look like after Brexit. Labour MEPs are clear that the declaration offers no guarantees, no certainty and no proper future for our country. Along with Theresa May’s botched Brexit deal, this represents a bad deal for Britain - bad for our economy, for workers, consumers, young people and the environment. Here’s why.

It's bad for the economy
Without a permanent Customs Union, which Labour supports, there is no guarantee of frictionless trade in the future with the EU. And without Labour's plans for a Single Market deal, there will be barriers for goods and reduced access for services. For financial services, there is also no guarantee on equivalence and euro clearing, putting at risk thousands of jobs and costing the economy and the exchequer billions.

It's bad for workers
There are no guarantees that Britain will keep EU standards on workers' rights such as TUPE (which protects employees whose business is being transferred to another business), equal rights for agency workers and paid holidays. There are no guarantees on future rights that the EU is working towards, such as banning exploitative zero-hours contracts and more rights for those in insecure employment, policies that Labour MEPs have been working on. There is also no guarantee that EU rules on the posting of workers, that tackle the exploitation of migrant workers and undercutting of local workers, will be maintained in the UK.

It's bad for consumers
There are no guarantees on continued consumer rights, from product safety standards to air passenger rights to the end of credit card fees. There is no mention of new upcoming EU consumer rights, like rail passenger rights, which Labour MEPs have been working on recently. There is no guarantee on continued access to the digital single market, raising the possibility of the return of mobile phone roaming charges and an end to being able to access digital content like Netflix while abroad.

It's bad for the environment
There is no guarantee the UK will maintain the EU's current high environmental standards, on everything from air quality to vehicle emissions to cleaner beaches. There are no guarantees the UK will match the EU's future efforts to ensure that the Paris climate goals are met. There are no guarantees on future membership of agencies that facilitate cross-border aspects of law enforcement, air safety, access to medicines and other important practical matters.

It’s bad for young people
There is no guarantee of continued access to joint schemes like Erasmus+, which enables British students to study and live in other EU countries. There is no guarantee of continued access to the EU research and innovation programmes, which enable researchers to work together across borders to come up with innovative solutions for the future, for example on cancer research. The end of free movement will be bad for all Britons, but especially so for young people, who will be denied the opportunity to travel, work, live, love and explore, unhindered, throughout the whole of the EU.

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