, 12 tweets, 4 min read
New @IPPR report out today assesses the risk posed by a no-deal Brexit to workers' rights - short thread for those who don't have time to read in full! (1/12) thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/w…
To start with, it's clear this govt does have a genuine interest in lowering EU-derived labour standards.

See for instance Sajid Javid's 'Brexit red tape challenge' to 'improve or remove' EU laws after Brexit (2/12) ftadviser.com/regulation/201…
Or take the Prime Minister at his own word - eg this quote from a speech in 2014 (3/12) express.co.uk/news/politics/…
Next, it's clear that a no-deal poses the greatest risk to these rights.

This is because the EU wants to agree 'level playing field' rules to keep UK labour standards at current levels after Brexit. No deal, no level playing field. (4/12)
On top of this, in a no-deal scenario there would be no transition period requiring the UK to follow EU law for the time being.

So UK could potentially start diverging from EU standards straight away. (5/12)
Of course, a no-deal doesn't mean that workers' rights coming from the EU would disappear overnight.

The EU Withdrawal Act would for the most part preserve these rights on 'day one' of a no deal. (6/12)
But the risk following a no-deal is that the government tries to chip away at these rights over time.

Our report identifies three categories of rights based on how easily they could be weakened. (7/12)
The most protected are those rights contained in primary legislation, such as the Equality Act.

These can generally only be amended by other Acts of Parliament.

And in a hung Parliament it could be rather tricky to get a bill weakening these rights through the Commons. (8/12)
It's true that primary legislation can also be amended by 'Henry VIII' powers, but these tend to be used relatively sparingly.

And the 'Henry VIII' powers in the EU Withdrawal Act are meant to only be used to correct deficiencies in the law arising from EU withdrawal. (9/12)
The next most protected rights (eg on working time) are in secondary legislation made using powers in the ECA.

They can be more easily amended without parliamentary scrutiny. But they can't be amended via powers in the ECA, the parent act, as it will have been repealed! (10/12)
The least protected rights are in secondary legislation made using powers granted by Acts other the ECA - eg rights for part-time and fixed-term workers.

These could potentially be amended using powers in their parent acts, which will still exist after Brexit. (11/12)
To sum up, the big risk is not that the govt targets flagship pieces of legislation like the Equality Act.

It's that it uses secondary legislation to subtly water down more vulnerable protections over time. (12/12)

For more details, full report is here: ippr.org/research/publi…
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