Angela Eagle demands EU working rights in UK after Brexit

Posted On: 
12th July 2016

Labour leadership hopeful Angela Eagle has demanded the UK government commits to protecting workers' rights after Brexit.

Angela Eagle is challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership
PA Images

In the first policy proposal of her campaign, the former shadow business secretary argued working people “have most to lose” from the UK's historic decision to quit the EU.

And in a broadside at Jeremy Corbyn she accused him of “harking back” to the party's 1980s policies “that almost saw us annihilated”.

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Laying out her call on workers' rights, Ms Eagle sought to distance herself from Mr Corbyn's call after the referendum for Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty - precipitating exit - to be triggered immediately.

Ms Eagle said she was “appalled” by the Labour leader's behaviour, adding: “I don’t think even Nigel Farage was calling for that.”

She argued: “We must be clear: the consequences of Brexit must not be dumped on those Labour communities who have already suffered the most from Tory cuts...

“We need to work for the real interests of working people, who have most to lose if May gets it wrong.

“That’s why I will demand that the UK government enshrine into the post-Brexit arrangements a commitment to the same labour standards as Europe. We need to compete on skills and ingenuity, not on sacrificing workers’ rights in a race to the bottom.”

Turning her fire on Mr Corbyn, she said: “What’s been so extraordinary about Jeremy is that after taking the leadership he has done so little with it.

“He has not brought forward practical policies to deal with the problems Britain faces. Instead he harks back to a 1983 manifesto that almost saw us annihilated.”

Ms Eagle yesterday launched a leadership challenge against Mr Corbyn arguing he was unable to  “provide the leadership” to win a general election.

Labour MP and former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith is also set to launch a bid for the top job, PoliticsHome revealed last night.