28 February 2019
Equity has written an open letter alongside sister trade unions urging MPs to prevent a no-deal Brexit at all costs, see below for full text. It is one of Equity’s red-lines on Brexit, and would severely threaten all four of its priorities for protecting the professional interests of its members – including guaranteeing workers’ rights, free movement for workers, no hard border on the island of Ireland and matching EU funding for culture (with no deal threatening an immediate end to European funding).
Letter to MPs
We represent hundreds of thousands of skilled workers across public and private sectors, many at the Brexit front line, whether delivering healthcare, working in trade, government or the creative industries.
We are unions not affiliated to any political party and only take strong stances on political issues when they threaten the personal and working lives of our members.
Right now, it is imperative our members’ voices are heard.
The political chaos of the last few years has led us to the brink of a No Deal Brexit that would have a catastrophic impact on our economy and society. The information we hear from our members in industries affected by Brexit makes it clear that No Deal is simply unconscionable and must be prevented at all costs.
However, there are major problems with the prime minister’s deal that cannot be solved by minor tweaks extracted at the eleventh hour. Whether it is on the future migration policies, the relationship with EU agencies, or the simple lack of clarity around the future economic relationship; it is clear that the deal is deeply flawed and will not work for our members.
No trade unionist should be seduced by the warm words of the prime minister on workers’ rights. Accepting the deal would mean dismantling the legal safety net that has underpinned employment rights in this country for decades, and replacing it with a set of empty promises from a government that may not be in office in a year’s time.
This is why we are sounding this alarm about what we see unfolding after we exit, if these terms remain substantially the same.
With exit day fast approaching, MPs must use the votes this week to break the Brexit stalemate and back a way forward that averts a No Deal exit. We cannot have more weeks of delay and indecision.
We urge MPs to avert an unnecessary self-inflicted national disaster to support a way forward before it is too late.
Christine Payne, general secretary, Equity
Mike Clancy, general secretary, Prospect
Chris Keates, general secretary, NASUWT
Gill Walton, chief executive and general secretary, Royal College of Midwives