Sadiq Khan today undermined a central plank of Labour’s attacks on the Government’s Brexit stance by denying ministers plan to strip away workers’ rights once the UK leaves the European Union.
Last week Prime Minister Theresa May warned European diplomats and governments that she would walk away from negotiations if they offered the country a “bad deal”.
She and Chancellor Phillip Hammond have both raised the prospect of the UK becoming a low tax base capable of attracting mayor employers if it’s unable to reach a fair deal with the EU.
Those remarks prompted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to claim ministers plan to turn Britain into a “bargain basement economy” and warn that workers faced “low wages and worse conditions” as ministers woo firms to the country.
However Mr Khan publicly dismissed such fears when appearing before the London Assembly on Wednesday.
The Mayor praised Brexit Minister David Davis for meeting union bosses as part of his consultations on the country’s negotiating stance and said there was “no evidence” ministers were planing an assault on workers’ rights.
“To give credit to the Government, I don’t think they want to weaken workers’ rights.”
“I’m hoping that what we have now is a floor, not a ceiling. What none of us want to see is a dilution of workers’ rights or a race to the bottom.”
Khan also told Assembly Members that his meetings with Mr Davis had reassured him that government was “not ignoring the needs of London” as it drew up its Brexit strategy.
The Mayor’s comments follow his answers to questions posed at last week’s Mayor’s Question Time session in which the was asked whether he’d “been given any assurances on access to the single market” or on access to funding from the EU.
In response to the questions, Mr Khan said it was “difficult for assurances of this nature to be given before formal negotiations with the EU have begun”.