Friday, 7 April 2017

R.Hyman and R. Gumbrell-McCormick on the implications of Brexit for British and European labour

Richard Hyman, Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick (2017) What about the workers? The implications of Brexit for British and European labour, Competition&Change, First Published March 27, 2017.
Abstract: In June 2016, a small majority of voters called for Britain to leave the EU. In this article, we discuss the referendum itself and the form which Brexit may take. It has become clear that the current UK government is committed to a ‘hard’ Brexit which will rupture most existing ties with the EU. While much uncertainty remains, there are alarming indications that ‘regaining sovereignty’ – a key slogan of the Brexit campaign – will translate into abject subservience to the most erratic right-wing US administration in history. We examine the implications of Brexit for labour rights in general and for British trade union participation in European Works Councils in particular: there are many reasons for apprehension. We assess the economic and political fall-out, and end by exploring possible consequences for international trade union solidarity in Europe. In general, trade union policy-makers in Europe are committed to resisting ‘divide-and-rule’ strategies by employers, but there will undoubtedly be tensions.