A recurring theme of the Labour Party’s campaign to persuade voters to back remaining in the EU was a recitation of the list of workers’ rights allegedly won and protected by the EU on our behalf.
This was a crucial element of the so-called “left wing case for the EU”. But it left one with a nagging question: if the EU is responsible for all these rights at work, what’s the Labour Party for?
The danger of attributing to the EU achievements that were hard won by trade unions working in concert with Labour governments seems not to have occurred to the party’s leaders.
So let me spell it out: every major advance in workplace rights, whether record maternity pay, the right to protection against discrimination on the grounds of race or sex, the right to join a trade union and have it recognised by your employer, and the national minimum wage, was won through a UK Labour movement.