What's at stake if we leave the EU? - unionstogether

This matters

I’m not here to tell you how great the EU is. I know it needs to change, and I get why people are frustrated with it. But in the referendum there is something at stake that I care a lot about: rights at work.


I’ve been a trade unionist for 40 years, and I’ve fought for better and stronger rights for working people every single day.

I’ve seen what Conservative Governments do to our rights – they strip them away, and leave us at the mercy of the bosses and the markets. Thatcher did it in the 80s, and Cameron and Co are doing it now – their Trade Union Bill was the biggest attack on working people in a generation.

But in all those years of Tory attacks, there’s lots of rights they’ve never been able to get their hands on: those that are guaranteed by Europe. Rights like paid holidays, health and safety at work, protection from discrimination, maternity rights, and so much more.

If Britain votes to leave the EU, that guarantee is gone. The Tories will be free to cut away at those rights too. That’s why, on 23 June, I’ll be voting to REMAIN in the EU.

Like all union members, I want to see a Europe that stands up for the interests of working people, not one that pushes a big business agenda. But we’ll only win that by staying in, and working with trade unions across Europe to argue together for more workplace rights, and decent public services.

I know people are weighing up the arguments. Europe’s far from perfect – but in my view there’s too much at stake to vote to leave. I’m voting Remain, and I hope you will too.

Paul Kenny

Chair of unionstogether, GMB

If you'd like to find out more about the EU referendum please visit http://action.unionstogether.org.uk/IN

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