Kate Hoey dismissed one of Jeremy Corbyn's key Brexit demands
Mr Corbyn has focussed on protection for workers as a major part of his response to the Government’s Brexit plans.
The Labour leader will even attempt to use Theresa May’s Article 50 legislation to order ministers not to water down employees’ rights.
But Vauxhall MP Ms Hoey this afternoon rubbished Mr Corbyn’s concerns by informing her party leader the issue of workers’ protection won’t even be on the table during Britain’s exit negotiations with the EU.
Responding to the publication of the Government’s White Paper on the Prime Minister’s Brexit plans today, Ms Hoey said: “I welcome the principles in the White Paper, particularly around protecting and enhancing existing workers’ rights.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, the prominent Leave campaigner then asked Brexit Secretary David Davis: “Will you confirm that there is nothing to negotiate with the other EU countries on workers’ rights because they already exist in our law and will be protected?
“The people who have been going around saying that such rights are threatened should be told that they are not.”
The Cabinet minister replied: “You are absolutely right. The Government’s approach is to maintain every single piece of employment protection that exists now, which incidentally is much better than that of most European countries, and to enhance it.
“There should be no concern about that at all.”
The people who have been going around saying that such rights are threatened should be told that they are not
The Government’s Article 50 Bill, which would hand Theresa May the authority to formally notify the EU of Britain’s exit, was last night backed by an overwhelming majority of MPs at its second reading.
It will return for a final vote in the House of Commons next week, before which Mr Corbyn has signalled his intention to try and add a series of Labour amendments to the Bill.
One will call on the ministers to “establish a number of key principles the Government must seek to negotiate during the process, including protecting workers’ rights, securing full tariff and impediment free access to the Single Market”.
The Government’s 75-page White Paper lists ‘protecting and enhancing existing workers’ rights’ as one of the Prime Minister’s 12 principles ahead of Brexit talks.