Brexit, British Government, NI Protocol, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Trade Deals, UK Labour Party

Could Labour take the UK Back into the EU?

This is the first BEERG Brexit Blog I have posted here since my last “semi-final” one about three months back. As I said in June/July I do not intend to continue with the regular almost weekly briefings, but I may occasionally post some more reflective pieces here, from time to time.   

 

An American friend asked me recently: “Tom, do you think the UK will re-join the EU in the near future?”

My answer was simple. No, not now, and not for a very long time. If ever.  But surely, they said, if Labour gets into government it will start talking to the EU? Its members are pro-EU. Yes, it will, but it will not look to re-join. Quite frankly, Labour does not know what it wants. It has no European policy worth talking of.

It walks in fear in the shadow of Brexit. Brexit has framed the debate

Since the end of WWII, when European integration began to be seriously discussed as a way to avoid further wars between the great nations of the continent, one or other of the two major UK parties, the Conservatives and Labour, at one time or other, was broadly in favour of closer European cooperation. However, even when well disposed, they were generally opposed to the limited pooling of sovereignty that continental Europeans appeared to be considering. 

Continue reading

Brexit, British Government, Employment law, NI Protocol, Northern Ireland

Could proposed EU Gender Pay Transparency Directive apply in Northern Ireland because of the N.I. Protocol? – and, if so, how can that be done?

Gender-Pay-Gap-in-the-Events-Industry (1)Over the past week I have been organising a webinar for BEERG members on the proposed EU Directive on gender pay transparency.  The proposed Directive aims

“…to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms”.                                                  (See the EU proposal here

While writing the webinar announcement, I noted that:

“this would be the first EU employment law Directive that, once adopted, would not apply to post-Brexit Britain.”

As I wrote this sentence a thought occurred to me: Is this entirely true? From this thought sprung two important questions:

  1. Could the new Directive apply in Northern Ireland because of the Protocol?
  2. And, if so, how could that be done?

Now, let me say straightaway that I have no idea what the answers to these two questions might be. And, I am fairly certain, nor does anyone else. That’s because we have never been here before.

Continue reading