Hard Line Begins On Brexit Over Contracts And Workers’ Rights?

In an opening salvo over what might take shape in a post-Brexit landscape, The Financial Times reported that the European Union has begun shutting Britain out of contacts while at the same time trying to lure U.K. business to switch their operations, geographically, to the Continent. A memo, said the FT, told staff at the EU to sidestep “unnecessary additional complications” until the U.K. bows out from the EU in 2020.

Companies should also mull the “requirements, per EU law, for marketing authorization holders or registrants to be established in the EU or to have an office in the EU.”

Separately, the FT reported that the Continent wants EU workers in Britain to have the same range of EU rights as have been in place, extending over the lifetimes of those workers.

Those rights would be enforced by the European Commission and monitored by the court system, said the FT. The intent by the EU is one that lies within a negotiating paper that per the FT would push the EU model “in perpetuity” for both migrant workers in Britain and also for British workers plying their trades abroad but within the bloc. And the EU may seek to have European social and employment rules kept in place within those countries (and within the U.K.) even post-Brexit.

The rules, should they be enforced, could be in place for decades and, as the FT noted, could in effect mean that Britain would be tied to rules over which it has no input, with oversight by the European Court of Justice. There are alternative models mentioned in the document, said the financial publication, but the drive seems to be to give the “highest priority” to rights of European nationals who are living and working within the U.K. and of those who are British nationals working elsewhere.


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