Working Time opt-out in jeopardy

MEPs vote to scrap the opt-out

The Working Time directive opt-out is in jeopardy after MEPs voted to scrap it, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, warned today.

Immediately after the vote, Conservatives called on the British government to ‘dig in’ to ensure the Council of Ministers does not back down on its position of supporting the opt-out. As the European Parliament and Council of Ministers now have differing opinions, they will now enter a period of ‘conciliation’ in an attempt to reach a compromise.

Sir Robert said:

“Socialist MEPs have won the battle, but they must not be allowed to win the war.

“The British government must dig in and defend the opt-out. 15 EU nations now take advantage of the flexibility provided by the opt-out and none of them should back down.

“It should never be the place of the European Parliament to tell people they cannot work - particularly during a downturn. Scrapping our Working Time opt-out is even more nonsensical in today’s economic climate than ever before.

“This is a double failure of Gordon Brown. Not only has he failed to control his MEPs, but he also naively signed up to a package deal that saw Britain give ground on the Agency Workers Directive in exchange for our Working Time opt-out. His folly was to assume the Left in the European Parliament would not sabotage the deal. British businesses have been given two damaging pieces of employment legislation for the price of one.”

Top ↑