The real reason Tories want to pull out of the EU


by Sunny Hundal    
2:55 pm - January 29th 2013

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David Cameron wants to ‘repatriate powers’ and most Tory MPs want to pull out of the EU for one key reason: to get rid of the Working Time Directive.

What is that? The TUC have published this helpful graphic to explain.

This legislation contains a lot of very basic protections at work that people in the UK now take totally for granted.

Share the image with your friends and colleagues.

(via http://stopemploymentwrongs.org)

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Yes, exactly. Sovereignty is only for corporate elites. Cameron if he gets these powers back will give them away to American multi nationals and his crony capitalist mates. Capitalism never works without slavery, and child labour. The traitorous Lie Dems should have a rallying cry of “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for slavery.”

With a bit of luck the corporate elites can work us all to death by 65, and won’t have to pay for pensions, and old age. Bring on the guillotines.

@1

The next big pension scandal will be when the City spivs have ransacked NEST, the new, default, share-based national pension scheme dreamt up by Pa Broon. Who’ll pay us oldies then, the EU?

Were the UK to no longer be bound by the WTD all current employees would see absolutely no change to their conditions of employment. Employers would have the ability to change the terms for new employees and to seek to amend existing employees’ terms by negotiation.

It is not as if prior to the WTD there was absolute freedom on all of the points so there’s no reason to believe that the WTD would not be replaced by something which got the democratic assent of Parliament. At the very latest this would be something the opposition could campaign to introduce if elected – the WTD protections did not need the EU to introduce them, they were within the power of any government. What has happened is that no government now has the power to amend or repeal them whereas previously governments could.

The big criticism of the new jobs that are being created is that for a significant number of people they offer too few hours and that overtime is less readily available. So, protections based on putting maximums on hours are somewhat academic now and will be until there is a shortage of available labour.

4. Matt Buckler

You’re also forgetting the other EU directives which Osborne has already referred to as European Red-tape, which includes some of the most important environmental legislation that’s been passed:
Habitats Directive – protecting sites of European importance
Birds Directive
Water Framework Directive
Flood Management Directive
All directives which Osborne thinks cause additional costs for British businesses, despite the evidence on ecosystem services completed by the Lawton Review.

This is why if Cameron is successful in renegotiating away these safeguards (and I doubt very much that the French, German, etc imperialist classes are any less anxious to get rid of them) and then puts an `in out’ referendum to the people the labour movement will have to vote for out or it will be voting for extreme anti-working class measures.

The labour movement doesn’t have to rely on the EU to give it its rights but it certainly cannot accept the EU taking what little they have away.

If there is an `in-out’ referendum the labour movement could not vote positively for the neo-liberal imperialist lash up EU as it is now let alone after Cameron has negotiated away even the half-decent things about it. That said Labour should go into the next election pledging to renegotiate the fouding treaties of the EU in accordance with socialist principles whilst in the meantime pledging to refuse to impelement any of its anti-working class edicts and objective including further privatisation if there is anything left.

I think sadly their is a basic misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what a ‘common’ market means – in that a country could gain an unfair advantage by exploiting its workers, therefore for a common market to function properly you need ‘common’ policies to protect basic worker rights.

Also as the New York Times said recently:

“Domestic politics have regularly trumped broader European concerns throughout the six-decade-long history of the union and its predecessor organizations, to the dismay of those who want to see Europe live up to a commitment in the 1957 Treaty of Rome for an “ever closer union.”

But Mr. Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on European Union membership threatens to elevate national political calculations over common interests to an extent that has alarmed even countries that often share British concerns.”

Oh, the old “bulwark against Thatcherism/neoliberalism” line about the EU.

Which privatisation did the EU prevent?

Which dock, factory, shipyard, steelworks or mine did it save?

Well, there you are, then.

8. Peter Gilkes

…all current employees would see absolutely no change to their conditions of employment.

Are you sure they can’t all be given notice and then be required to re-apply for their jobs under worse conditions? I’m sure it’s happened before.

What will be very funny is if the tory grandstanding leads to the whole European Union coming crashing down, and many EU countries start again without UK and kick out the free trade bit.

Many countries may not be so keen to have that now they see what the reality is of America’s poodle agenda.

10. Northern Worker

Nah. Cameron is trying to get re-elected by appealing to those defecting en masse to UKIP. Seriously, you’re not saying he’s a deep, political thinker. Are you?

You know that Great German Comi Scam
they call the EU ?

How much have we Paid IN?

How Much have they paid out To The UK ?

How much nonsense have they caused?

throwing away our powers an sovereignty to brussels

they wasted billions of our money, they throw
major partys an lay on Hookers for the vips
an it comes out of our money your taxs from your wages are paying for £2000 to £3000 an Hour
Hookers Thats not a joke either its true

we throw good fish away while working an poor familys use foodbanks because of them
they banned health helping safe organic herbs
they banned bent bannas i could go on an on

BRITAIN OUT OF THE EU NOW!
NOT IN 5 OR 7 YEARS

You know that Great German Comi Scam
they call the EU ?

How much have we Paid IN?

How Much have they paid out To The UK ?

How much nonsense have they caused?

throwing away our powers an sovereignty to brussels

They wasted billions of our money, they throw
major partys an lay on Hookers for the vips
an it comes out of our money your taxs from your wages are paying for £2000 to £3000 an Hour
Hookers Thats not a joke either its true

we throw good fish away while working an poor familys use foodbanks because of them
they banned health helping safe organic herbs
they banned bent bannas i could go on an on

BRITAIN OUT OF THE EU NOW!
NOT IN 5 OR 7 YEARS

right thats great it would not allow the 1st comment at 1st so i split it up into two posts an now it looks like im spamming can you delete the other two later comments please :(

15. Robin Levett

@the REAL TRUTH #11 & 13:

they banned health helping safe organic herbs

No they didn’t; which applies to most of what you’ve said, but let’s see your backup for this.

This is my first visit to your site. If this organisation seriously believes that “the real reason Tories want to pull out of the EU” is solely because of the Working Time Directive as you state, I’m afraid it’s my last visit. Any organisation that can trivialise the debate on such a wide ranging and important subject down to one item is wholly misleading. Please don’t treat us like idiots.

@16

Organisation? More like herding cats. G’bye then!

@4 “All directives which Osborne thinks cause additional costs for British businesses”

They do. You can claim that the costs are justified but to assert that there are no costs is incorrect.

Great post, clarifies some of the hidden agenda behind the whole issue. People forget the EU has actually imposed some sensible regulations.

20. Robin Levett

@Falco #18:

You can claim that the costs are justified

Not even that. The argument that the externalised costs of not having the Directives are greater than the costs to business of complying.

16 Oh look a tory pearl clutcher pretending they have never been here before, and then in their usual superior snooty manner telling the owner of this site what he can write.

Their arrogance and sence of entitlement is amazing.

22. Ben Chifley

Ah, to be fair to the Germans I don’t think they had a say in the matter. Even Winston Churchill in his memoirs claimed the Wall St story during WWII needed further investigation.

How many of the laws in the EU are actually United Nations laws anyway?

Isn’t defeating the EU or Continental Europe Common Currency Lord Nelson’s victory? Haven’t people forgotten Napoleon’s grandson Napoleon III.

Either way the World Bank created after WWI to help Germany has ran its usefulness. Even John Maynard Keynes quit his post in Germany in 1923 over the sanctions put on the Germans.

The World Trade Organisation privatising tax funded government companies and selling them to the highest bidder was called beggar thy neighbour by the American President during the 1930′s.

How do you stop draghi’s unlimited bond sales from the European Central Bank etc.

The only thing Neoliberalism and the London School of Economics has right is the shrinkage in the money supply of 35% during 1929 to 1935 in America. Making sure banks have money to lend out by supplying them cash from the Central Bank is not the Myth of the Great Depression it is the Weimar Republic.

By increasing the money supply as Friedman’s K law says to has made the global economic and global finance system at this stage almost impossible to change unless Russia or China have another revolution. Then we will be forced to change. Which is the whole point of QE and the Central Bank policy at the moment. I mean look at the New York times and the bond sales for the week. It is a ponzi scheme nowadays.

America has learnt the hard way Empires are expensive and you can’t simply create money out of thin air to pay for your military.

The old english empire has plenty to give and share. And it is time Canada, Australia and New Zealand prioritise the United Kingdom once again. The day the Queen used her power to overthrow an Australian government in favor of the American Empire is worse than Thatcherism and she should also wear a lot of the blame in this crisis.

Peace everyone

Look at Iceland they went the independent non austerity way. We have gone down the austerity road because of press pressure and the EU (mainly Germany).
Pull out of the EU and let us decide on our workers rights. The idea that we will passively let the Tories and their acolytes push back the years is a myth. It will not occur and if it does then we deserve what we get.
Remember you lefties it was you who were the main opponents of the EU in the 50′s and 60′s.
Although I am not a lefty you have two ways to achieve your ideas. One get out of the EU and the other is hope for the death of press journalism and the opening up of debate through then internet.

@19 Richard Owen

You are being sarcastic right?

25. paul hammond

So whats Labour saying, we are unable to make a good human rights act of our own , we are unable to control the corporates, we just keep on nodding to the E.U? any wonder labour voters are disillusiuoned with them, more votes lost on this. I continually think whats the difference in all of them.


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