20 Apr 2020
Level playing field rules and labour protection
Blog post by Prof. Dr. Damian Raess in The UK in a Changing Europe
***The piece is published today as UK-EU negotiations on the future relationship, including the trading relationship, are resuming after several weeks of pause due to the coronavirus pandemic***
Even before the UK-EU negotiations on the future relationship began, the positions of both sides were deadlocked. The UK government made clear that it was ready to reject alignment with EU labour laws after 2020, invoking its determination to set its own social and labour legislation after the end of the transition period. While seeking to recover regulatory autonomy is a legitimate policy objective, it is unfortunately premised on a misconception of what the (economic) benefits of breaking free from the EU employment laws could be. In its turn, the EU’s negotiating mandate has set up its own red line. The EU negotiators stand their ground on high standards of protection of workers’ rights. In other words, the EU proposes level playing field conditions are designed to ensure that neither side undercuts the other. By doing so, the EU pursues its own legitimate policy objective.
Click on the link below to read the rest of the blog post.