Labour switchers who backed Tories still want workers' rights protected after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 11:47 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 23 December 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks away after driving a union flag-themed JCB, with the words

Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks away after driving a union flag-themed JCB, with the words "Get Brexit Done" inside the digger bucket. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

A new survey from the TUC have found that voters who switched from Labour to the Tories still want to safeguard the benefits the EU provides workers.

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The TUC said a poll of almost 3,000 adults also suggested widespread support for higher investment in public services.

Three out of four of those questioned said the Government must protect and enhance workplace rights guaranteed by the EU, including paid holidays.

Most people also want new rights for workers in the so-called gig economy, said the TUC.

General secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We know many in Boris Johnson's cabinet who want to drive down labour standards, but there is little appetite in Britain for de-regulation and further tax cuts for the rich, including among Conservative voters.

"The prime minister has no more excuses. Voters expect him to protect and strengthen rights at work, and they want him to get on with investing in our public services and boosting wages."

Peter McLeod, of GQR, which carried out the survey, said: "The Conservatives won voters from Labour and elsewhere with reassurances that they would protect workers' rights, raise the minimum wage and boost funding for the NHS and schools.

"We know people had doubts about Boris Johnson's integrity, and, if the Conservatives fail to keep their promises, a lot of those gains will be at risk."

A government spokesman said: "We share the public's desire to protect and enhance workers' rights, making the UK the best place in the world to work.

"We're already driving through the largest upgrade to workers' rights in a generation through the Good Work Plan, but as the Queen's Speech said, once Brexit is done we will introduce world-leading legislation, cementing and building on our high standards in workers' rights.

"This will further protect those in low-paid work and the gig economy."

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