Brexit campaigners insist workers' rights would be safe

Updated: 

Workers' rights would be safe after Brexit, Leave campaigners have insisted.

MPs Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom accused the Remain campaign of trying to scare voters by suggesting employment regulations will disappear in the event of Brexit.

In a column for The Times, the pair said the claims were "a great insult to the social reformers, who, over many decades, have put the UK at the forefront of advances in employment rights" without the EU's help.

They said existing UK law, from the Equal Pay Act 1970 to the Employment Rights Act 1996, adequately protects workers.

"Again and again, Britain has gone further and faster than the rest of the EU in pushing for workplace rights, racial equality and crackdowns on hate speech," they said.

EU legislation accepted since Tony Blair took the UK into the social chapter would also remain in place and public holidays and maternity and paternity leave would also be protected, they added.

There would be no return to a "Victorian era of child exploitation and sweatshop factories", leading Labour campaigner Ms Stuart and Conservative Mrs Leadsom said.

They wrote: "If you think British voters should decide British laws, vote Leave.

"If you think that we should always control our borders so that we protect the job prospects of British workers, vote Leave.

"There is nothing to be afraid of and everything to hope for."