The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to provide EU workers based in the UK with job security after Britain has left the European Union.
Its Brexit White Paper highlights 12 key objectives – two of which include immigration and employment – it wishes to achieve in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
‘Objective 6’ outlines intent to secure rights for EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, while ‘objective 7’ centres on protecting workers’ rights.
There are no suggestions as to how immigration will work once Britain has left the EU, but the White Paper hints that there will still be a route into the UK for highly skilled EU migrant workers.
The Government will also commit to maintaining current employment laws where they go “above and beyond” that of the EU norm.
It examples maternity leave, where EU entitlement is a lowly 14 weeks compared to the UK’s 52.
According to the Paper, around 2.8 million EU nationals currently reside in the UK, while up to one million expats live in EU member states, such as Spain, France and Germany.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “While it’s good to see the Government maintain its commitment to protecting existing workers’ rights, people need to know the Government won’t seek to compete in a race to the bottom that allows their rights to fall behind workers in the rest of Europe.
“So Theresa May should confirm that future trade deals with the EU will include a commitment to abide by minimum EU requirements for workers’ rights.”