Protecting jobs, rights and standards - Prospect sets out Brexit checklist

Protecting jobs, rights and standards - Prospect sets out Brexit checklist

Prospect has created a Brexit checklist for Theresa May and Brexit ministers to consider ahead of the government negotiation position being announced.

Union and EU flags in front of the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben), Westmister

Workers across the economy in vital industries like aviation, science, technology, engineering, maths, heritage and entertainment sectors are represented by Prospect.

Britain must negotiate to stay in the single market, or as close to it as possible, if ministers want to protect jobs, protect research and strengthen workers’ rights. This will be crucial to delivering a Brexit that builds on Britain’s key economic strengths – as the government has said it wants to do – rather than engaging in ‘Mad Max’ race to the bottom.

The checklist has been created by considering the impact of Brexit on each sector where Prospect represents people.

The main priorities are continuing scientific co-operation, ensuring the free movement of people and goods, maintaining regulations and workers’ rights.

Committing to full participation in European science programmes and Euratom membership are key priorities.

British Antarctic Survey Prospect member, Amelie Kirschgaessner, said: “Scientific research lives from international collaboration. This is particularly true for my research in remote polar locations, and obtaining atmospheric measurements by aircraft, both of which need extensive resources and logistics.”

Other priorities must include maintaining reciprocal free movement of workers and ensuring the same rights are given to any EU citizens coming to the UK during the transition period as before.

Xavier Lefebvre, Prospect member at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, said: “People moved to the UK, making difficult decisions to leave their country, laid down roots, built a career in the UK and are now being accused of enjoying UK benefits whilst stealing jobs from UK nationals. This is utterly absurd. The concept of free movement has to remain valid for the 3 million EU nationals living in the UK but also the 1.2m British citizens living in Europe.”

Prospect is urging the government to consider the wider impact of any changes to regulation and free movement on the economy.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said: “Our membership of the EU has allowed the UK to attract some of the best international talent in the world to work in some of our most important industries.

“The government must ensure that the UK remains in a competitive position during the Brexit transition period and once we have left the EU. The best way to do this is by ensuring that there is regulatory convergence to minimise any disruption.”

Prospect’s Brexit checklist – Protecting jobs, rights and standards

  • Commit to reciprocal free movement of workers and their families between the UK and the EU27 in order to allow the exchange of talent, skills and ideas.
  • Make it clear that EU citizens moving to the UK during the transition period will enjoy identical rights to those who have arrived while we were an EU member state.
  • Ensure there is no watering down of workers’ rights post-Brexit by committing to the UK staying in lock-step with the minimum baseline for employment law set out by the ECJ.
  • Put regulatory standards/convergence at the core of UK negotiations to ensure there is no unnecessary disruption during the transition period and to maintain high standards post-Brexit in areas such as aviation, environmental protection and the creative industries.
  • Work to ensure the UK maintains barrier free access to EU markets after Brexit either through the existing Single Market/Customs Union, or as close as possible, to protect jobs and the movement of goods.
  • Maintain membership of vital European agencies such as Euratom and EASA through associate membership if full membership is impossible
  • Commit to full participation in European science programmes including budget contributions and free movement for UK and EU scientists, science students and their families to allow the collaboration in the national interest.