EU social partners’ first reactions to Brexit
Sheila Pantry OBE
Following the British referendum on 23 June 2016, in which 51.9% of people who actually voted (28% who could vote did not turn out) decided to leave the European Union, social partners across most European countries have commented on the impact that the British exit will have on their countries or members. Their first reactions, in relation to working-life related issues, in particular, have been recorded. The reactions include:
- considerations about the impact of working conditions for workers in the UK;
- implications for migrant workers and students working or living in, or from, the UK;
- the future preservation of the single market with freedom of movement for workers;
- the implications for trade and how different sectors would be affected;
- deliberations about failures of the EU as a cause for the vote and the future direction the EU’s should take;
- first actions to adapt to the new environment and to manage the change
In the run-up to the British referendum on membership of the European Union (EU), social partners across Europe – including, on the trade union side, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) , the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions and the General Workers’ Union (UGT) in Spain and, on the employers’ side, the Spanish Confederation of Employer Organisations (CEOE) and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SP ČR) – issued statements encouraging British people to vote Remain or expressing their hope for the UK to remain a member of the EU.
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