Stanovisko regionálního tajemníka UNI EUROPA Olivera Roethiga k Brexitu

UNI Europa | 40, rue Joseph II | 1000 Brussels | Belgium
Tel: +32 2 234 5656 | Fax: +32 2 235 0870 | 1/2
Circular E-027
Brussels, 14 July 2016
To UNI Europa Executive Committee (Titular Members and Substitute Members)
To UNI Global Executive Board (Titular Members and Substitute Members)
To all UNI Europa Affiliates
To all UNI Affiliates
Union Movement will stand up for workers in wake of Brexit

Dear Colleagues,
It has been three weeks since this tumultuous decision and the course ahead to implement the Brexit referendum remains uncertain. It is unlikely that the actual exit from the European Union will take place before the end of 2018. It is also possible that negotiations for a new relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union will lead us well into the 2020s. One thing is sure: the decision will have enormous consequences for decades to come. The Brexit decision has already caused political turmoil and has damaged national economies across Europe.
UNI Europa, together with the European trade union movement, has from the onset been opposed to the UK leaving the European Union. Our aim now is to ensure that the exit has as little negative consequences as possible for working people in the UK or elsewhere across Europe. The basic principles of the European Union cannot be undermined. Access to the single market is conditional on commonly applied rules that protect workers’ rights, along with the continued guarantee of freedom of movement.
The Brexit referendum showed a high level of dissatisfaction among British people over the direction the EU has taken during the past 20 years. This view is shared by many workers across Europe. UNI Europa therefore renews its call upon the EU to change course. We need EU rules that protect workers rather than allow companies to play off workforces in different countries; resulting in a race to the bottom around lower wages and working conditions. To overcome this crisis, we need an EU that is once again a community that works to increase working and living standards for all; women and men, young and old, in all sectors of the economy.
Brexit will have a massive impact upon us all; in the UK, the other 27 EU member states and for the workers that are now finding themselves on either side of this new divide. It is therefore imperative that the EU and governments do not conduct negotiations behind closed doors: TTIP must not be the model. Civil society and the social partners must be consulted and part of the negotiating process, both in the UK and in the EU.
The ETUC, together with the TUC in the UK, organised an extraordinary meeting of its Steering Committee in London on 11 July 2016. The purpose was to show solidarity with British colleagues and take a position as the European trade union movement on the way forward for the UK and all of Europe together (see statement attached).
UNI Europa | 40, rue Joseph II | 1000 Brussels | Belgium
Tel: +32 2 234 5656 | Fax: +32 2 235 0870 | 2/2
UNI Europa is working closely together with our affiliates, the ETUC and our fellow European trade union federations on the issue of Brexit. In September, I am looking at organising a meeting with our UK affiliates to discuss the situation in more depth. By then, I hope the path that the UK government intends to take will be clearer.
UNI Europa stands behind our UK affiliates in solidarity in these difficult times. Brexit is a challenge for all of us. It must not divert us from our aim for all workers in Europe having decent jobs and decent wages.
We are two years away from our Liverpool Congress in 2018. The plans are well developed and we will send a strong message to the world that the British labour movement and its strong legacy of international commitment remains a pillar of union strength.
Our UK affiliates play a major role in the life of UNI Global Union, UNI Europa and in the various sectors where many of our British colleagues play leadership roles. This engagement will be critical in the months and years ahead.
We will keep you informed of developments.
Best regards,
Philip Jennings
UNI General Secretary
Oliver Roethig
UNI Europa Regional Secretary

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