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Why Prospect cannot support government's Brexit deal

Parliament will vote on whether to accept or reject the government’s Brexit deal with the European Union in January



EU referendum

In the coming weeks parliament will vote on whether to accept or reject the government’s Brexit deal with the European Union.

Prospect is not affiliated to any political party, but we will always speak out to defend the interests of our members.

Prospect does not support this deal as there are a number of key ways in which we believe it does not meet our tests for a good Brexit deal.

The government’s own assessment of the economic impact of their plan shows that this would be an economic downgrade, harming workers and reducing our ability to properly fund public services. The deal also opens the door for potential weakening of vital employment protections in the future, with enforcement mechanisms simply too weak to ensure that workers’ rights in the UK do not fall behind our EU neighbours.

But most importantly, the deal gives us absolutely no guarantees about the future economic relationship between the UK and the EU. There is no detail on how we will trade in the future, or whether and on what terms the UK will be able to maintain membership of vital European agencies or science funding programmes.

We are also deeply concerned about the government’s plans to extend the broken Tier 2 visa system to cover future EU migration, including a salary threshold of £30,000. This will have serious consequences for many industries in the UK, especially in areas such as science, research, and engineering in which there are a high proportion of EU nationals, many of whom earn under the proposed threshold.

The full extent of the negative implications of this deal for our members is still becoming clear. In recent weeks we have had confirmation that the UK will no longer be part of the multi-billion pound Galileo satellite programme, which has implications for UK science as well as for security. And in areas such as chemical regulation we now know that our members will be unable to fulfil certain regulatory functions during the transition period and potentially beyond.

Prospect’s policy on Brexit has been set by our members at national conference. It states that Prospect should:

  • Campaign to ensure the rights and interests of Prospect members are expressed to government and policy-makers whilst the Brexit negotiations are taking place.
  • Produce guidance for members on the terms of the EU exit deal once it is published.
  • To argue that the public should be given a say on the results of the negotiations and to ensure a democratic stamp of approval on the final outcome – deal or no deal.
  • If the Government’s proposed final outcome is rejected, then Prospect should argue for an extension of the transitional arrangements to ensure new negotiations or a return to the status quo before the Brexit vote.

The political situation is currently extremely uncertain and unpredictable, but Prospect will be guided by the policy our members have set and will always stand up for their interests and views.

Updated 7th January 2019