BAH, HUMBUG! ONE: – MP SLAMS BORIS JOHNSON OVER WORKERS RIGHTS AND “RECKLESS APPROACH TO IMPLEMENTATION” – “I do not trust this Prime Minister to maintain the standards we have derived from the EU”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been slammed over his Brexit antics by Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes.

“The Bill further waters down the commitment to the European convention on human rights, and the political declaration makes no mention of rights previously protected by the EU charter of fundamental rights.” she told fellow MPs during the debate on the Brexit bill.

” There is a real risk that hard-won rights fought for over hundreds of years could be watered down by this or any other future Government.”

She told fellow MPs that her constituents were dismayed to see the Government  “jettisoning” the Dubs amendment on  non-regression clauses which were designed to ensure that the UK does not move backwards on workers’ rights relative to the EU – and on child refugees.

Helen Hayes speech in full  12:48 pm, 20th December 2019

I thank voters in my constituency for re-electing me to serve as their Member of Parliament. It is an honour to represent one of the most diverse constituencies in the country. In 2016 it voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, and, in my experience, the strength of my constituents’ pro-EU views has only grown over the past three years.

The vast majority of my constituents did not vote to “get Brexit done”, and my mandate from them is to keep standing up for our values in Dulwich and West Norwood and to champion their interests. Our values are those of outward-facing internationalism, a celebration of diversity and community solidarity. These are the values that underpin our support for membership of the EU and these are the values that lead us to be deeply concerned about Brexit and this Government’s reckless approach to it.

Our values lead us to be concerned about the protections people are afforded in their workplace, the protection of our environment and our response to the climate emergency. They lead us to prioritise human rights and to be concerned about how Governments are held to account for human rights abuses which happen on their watch. And they lead us to be concerned about refugees and to want the UK to play a full role in responding to the global refugee crisis by welcoming people who have lost everything and helping them to rebuild their lives. Indeed, many of my constituents are already playing their part through community sponsorship groups and they want to see the Government doing the same.

We are dismayed to see in the Bill the Government jettison their previous commitment to the Dubs amendment on child refugees and the non-regression clauses, which were designed to ensure that the UK does not move backwards on workers’ rights relative to the EU—or at least that if the Government did so it would be completely transparent and they could be held to account. In relation to human rights, the previous Government removed the UK’s commitment to the charter of fundamental rights. The Bill further waters down the commitment to the European convention on human rights, and the political declaration makes no mention of rights previously protected by the EU charter of fundamental rights. There is a real risk that hard-won rights fought for over hundreds of years could be watered down by this or any other future Government.

The Prime Minister’s reckless approach to the implementation period is nothing short of a disgrace. There is not a shred of evidence that a trade deal with the EU can be secured within a year. The EU says it cannot. All trade deal precedents indicate that it cannot. Yet the Prime Minister seeks to enshrine in law the UK’s crashing out of the EU with no trade deal in just a year’s time.

Brexit will not be done; it will be doing its worst to communities up and down the country. Jobs will be lost and lives left devastated if we crash out in a year’s time. I urge newly elected Government Members to reflect very carefully on what exactly this will mean for the communities they represent, and to heed the warnings of UK manufacturers about the dependence of supply chains on our membership of the single market and customs union.

None of this is hypothetical. It is about the ability of thousands of people to go to work in secure, well-paid jobs that keep a roof over their family’s head. It is about the rights of working people to holiday pay, maternity and parental leave, sick pay and protection from discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Bob Seely (Con Isle of Wight) intervenes:

Does the hon. Lady accept that, actually, in many cases UK standards are higher than those of the European Union? I am very confused as to why Opposition Members keep using the EU as a gold standard when actually it is the UK that is the gold standard. (Citation: HC Deb, 20 December 2019, c195)

 Helen Hayes (Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood)

I thank the hon. Member for his intervention, but I do not accept that that is the case. Nor do I accept that the Bill does anything other than leave those rights to the mercy of any future Government. I do not trust this Prime Minister to maintain the standards we have derived from the EU.

It is about the protection of our woodlands, rivers and coastal habitats at a time when the environment could not be more important. It is about the practical expression of our values in the way that we treat the world’s most vulnerable children.

I understand that the Prime Minister has a majority that means he will pass the Bill and we will leave the European Union, but my constituents will not be denied a voice in that debate. Make no mistake: the Bill will deliver nothing but damage to the UK on many fronts. I will oppose it, I will stand up for my constituents’ values and interests, and I will hold the Government to account for the consequences of their reckless actions. (Source: TheyWorkForYou. Words placed in bold type by News From Crystal Palace)

Helen Hayes : 2 votes
=============================
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (20 Dec 2019)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2019-12-20-1-commons
Voted (no) against allowing a second reading of the bill (division #1;
result was 359 aye, 234 no)

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (Programme) (20 Dec 2019)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2019-12-20-2-commons
Voted (no) against the programme motion for the bill (division #2;
result was 353 aye, 243 no)

Ellie Reeves (Lab Lewisham West and Penge) : 2 votes
==============================
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (20 Dec 2019)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2019-12-20-1-commons
Voted (no) against allowing a second reading of the bill (division #1;
result was 359 aye, 234 no)

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (Programme) (20 Dec 2019)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2019-12-20-2-commons
Voted (no) against the programme motion for the bill (division #2;
result was 353 aye, 243 no)

Steve Reed (Lab, Croydon North) : 2 votes
============================
European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (20 Dec 2019)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2019-12-20-1-commons
Voted (no) against allowing a second reading of the bill (division #1;
result was 359 aye, 234 no)

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (Programme) (20 Dec 2019)
https://www.theyworkforyou.com/divisions/pw-2019-12-20-2-commons
Voted (no) against the programme motion for the bill (division #2;
result was 353 aye, 243 no)

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