Boris Johnson's new Brexit chief wants to scrap assurances on workers' rights

PUBLISHED: 10:36 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:11 30 July 2019

Boris Johnson on the Vote Leave campaign trail. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Boris Johnson on the Vote Leave campaign trail. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Boris Johnson's new Brexit chief has previously hinted he wants to scrap Theresa May's promise to protect British workers' rights.

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David Frost, the former chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was appointed last week by Boris Johnson to replace Olly Robbins as Downing Street's key Brexit negotiator.

Just three months ago he wrote for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry website he claimed business will prosper when "government takes the right decisions".

He said: "Business organisations have often in the past criticised the EU's drift towards heavy labour market regulation.

"So I will take some persuading it will be a good outcome if the EU is able to set new UK labour market rules without any UK say - as currently seems to be envisaged by the leaders of both major political parties."

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His comments resurfaced as union leaders step up pressure on the government to improve workers' rights as well as urging the PM to abandon the threat of a no-deal Brexit.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Boris Johnson needs to stop threatening a no-deal Brexit - which would be a disaster for workers' rights - and get on with enhancing labour protections now.

"We already have an insecure work crisis in Britain. Crashing out of Europe would make things far worse.

"A good start would be to ban zero-hours contracts and give low-paid workers the right to speak to a union in their workplace.

"It's not right that millions of workers still don't know how much they'll earn from one week to the next, and that so many are being denied even the most basic workplace rights."

A government spokesman said: "The UK has a world-leading record in protecting workers' rights and a labour market we can be proud of, with more people in work than ever before.

"We are determined to maintain this record of leadership after we leave the EU, with or without a deal."

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