Statement by TUAC General Secretary on the UK referendum result


Like many in the British and European trade union movement, I was stunned by the British people’s decision on 23 June to leave the European Union.
British unions had campaigned hard to make the case that the most effective way to support jobs, living standards and rights for workers and their families was for the UK to remain part of the European Union.
In many ways the Brexit campaign turned the EU into the scapegoat for justified concerns of people about inequality, insecurity, austerity and the apparent indifference of political elites.
The lessons of this decision must be that governments in Europe and beyond must take those concerns seriously and take action to reduce inequality and spread the benefits of growth far more widely.
They must do a far better job in reaching out to citizens and their representative institutions, including civil society and trade unions.

The immediate priority must be, as the TUC has rightly said, to limit the damage to jobs and living standards by putting forward a plan to maintain access for to the EU Single Market.
It is also essential to head off any attempts to roll back social rights and workers protection transposed into UK law.
TUAC, working with ETUC and ITUC, will continue to press for action to create jobs and inclusive growth in Europe, OECD countries and beyond.
The OECD in their Economic Outlook last month belatedly called for coordinated fiscal expansion to through increased public investment in the European Union - action by European governments to deliver that outcome would a be good starting point for restoring confidence.

General Secretary