Prospect – supporting and lobbying for our members throughout BREXIT

Our checklist for Government – with status update

How does the government’s Brexit plan compare to Prospect’s checklist for a good deal? We looked at the current plans and graded them GREEN, AMBER or RED.

1. Commit to reciprocal free movement of workers and their families between the UK and the EU27 in order to allow the exchange of talent, skills and ideas.

Status: RED expand…

The government have not set out what the future migration system will be but have made it clear that free movement will end. The Migration Advisory Committee has recommended a reformed Tier 2 visa system that makes ‘high skill’ migration easier but ‘low skill’ migration virtually impossible. This system would retain the controversial £30,000 salary requirement for a visa.

2. Make it clear that EU citizens moving to the UK during the transition period will enjoy identical rights to those who have arrived while we were an EU member state.

Status: RED expand…

The government have agreed that EU citizens who arrive in the UK during the transition period will have the right to apply for permanent residence, however they will not have the same rights to bring family members to the UK as those who arrive in the UK before March 2019.

3. Ensure there is no watering down of workers’ rights post-Brexit by committing to the UK staying in lock-step with the minimum baseline for employment law set out by the ECJ.

Status: AMBER expand…

The government’s white paper says that the UK and the EU should mutually agree to a ‘non-regression of standards’ on workers’ rights. However this would not be legally enforceable and senior ministers have openly talked about cutting rights after Brexit.

4. Put regulatory standards/convergence at the core of UK negotiations to ensure there is no unnecessary disruption during the transition period and to maintain high standards post-Brexit in areas such as aviation, environmental protection and the creative industries.

Status: AMBER expand…

The government’s white paper commits to regulatory convergence in some areas for example foods and other good, but seeks regulatory divergence on services.

5. Work to ensure the UK maintains barrier free access to EU markets after Brexit either through the existing Single Market/Customs Union, or as close as possible, to protect jobs and the movement of goods.

Status: AMBER expand…

The government’s plan would leave the UK effectively within the single market and customs union for goods, but not for services. The EU has rejected this approach as inconsistent with the principles of the single market.

6. Maintain membership of vital European agencies such as Euratom and EASA through associate membership if full membership is impossible.

Status: AMBER expand…

The government have finally agreed that seeking to retain membership of some key agencies such as EASA and the ECHA is important, however they continue to insist that the UK must leave Euratom and are only trying to associate to the Research and Training component.

7. Commit to full participation in European science programmes including budget contributions and free movement for UK and EU scientists, science students and their families to allow the collaboration in the national interest.

Status: AMBER expand…

The White Paper proposes an ‘ambitious science and innovation accord’ that would include continued UK contributions to EU science programmes such as Horizon, JET, ITER and Euratom R&T. However associate status would see the UK lose influence over these programmes, and the government has not committed to free movement for scientists and researchers.

Prospect’s Brexit policy is…

At Prospect National Conference in June 2018 delegates voted to update our policy on Brexit.

Conference instructed Prospect to:

  • Campaign to ensure the interests of our members are heard in the Brexit negotiations, including on the Irish border issue, membership of EU agencies, and maintaining funding and collaboration in science and other areas.
  • Advocate staying as close as possible to the Single Market and Customs Union in order to protect jobs and ensure employment and other rights are protected.
  • Support the rights of EU citizens in the UK.
  • Actively campaign against a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
  • Support a democratic vote on the final outcome of the negotiations.

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STEM

Key issues

  • Risk to important funding streams
  • Threat to end free movement of STEM specialists
  • Disruption of international collaboration
  • Threat to UK’s international status for research & innovation

What we are doing

  • We are campaigning for continued access to EU funding
  • We are arguing for continued reciprocal free movement for EU nationals to work in the UK and UK nationals to work in other EU countries
  • We are fighting against proposals to increase salary thresholds for EU nationals to qualify for Tier 2 status
  • We believe there must not be any cliff-edges or regulatory or policy vacuums that would impact negatively on investment, productivity or employment

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect is the leading union for professional scientists and engineers
  • Our campaigning and lobbying prioritises members’ concerns & draws on their experience and expertise
  • We are politically independent and speak without fear or favour on behalf of members
  • We have good access to the Government Office for Science and STEM employers
  • Without proper funding guarantees and maintenance of international networks, future employment opportunities will be damaged

Euratom

Key issues

  • Impact on nuclear safeguards
  • The affect of movement of people and nuclear materials
  • The requirement for new bilateral trade agreements to be negotiated
  • It’s impossible to replicate Euratom arrangements by March 2019 deadline

What we are doing

  • We have published a policy statement to enable work on possible associate status
  • We are campaigning for guaranteed free movement of specialist and technical staff
  • We have set out likely lead-in periods for new Nuclear Co-operation Arrangements
  • We are supporting the negotiation contingency for a transitional period beyond March 2019

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect is the leading union for nuclear experts
  • We represent the interests of the entire nuclear sector, from decommissioning to new build; research & innovation; safeguarding and regulation
  • We work constructively with employers e.g. through the Nuclear Industries Council, and share many of their concerns
  • We are politically independent and speak without fear or favour on behalf of members
  • Without a satisfactory replacement for Euratom many nuclear-related jobs will be put at risk

Aviation

Key issues

  • Risk of disruption to traffic and industry from exiting European Common Aviation Area (ECAA)
  • Future UK participation in Single European Sky (SES)
  • Future of economic regulation of the aviation industry
  • Future of safety regulation and relationship to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

What we are doing

  • We have published our “Future for UK Aviation” manifesto to set out the key areas we believe should be considered to ensure safety and resilience across the sector and prevent a race to the bottom in a post-Brexit age. Click here to download the manifesto.
  • We are supporting bilateral agreement on ECAA membership
  • We are campaigning to retain positive aspects of SES
  • We are recommending an exit of the current “performance scheme” which prioritises cost-cutting over investment and safety
  • We are campaigning to maintain alignment and influence with EASA, and build Civil Aviation Authority capacity

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect represents 5,000 members working for airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and the Civil Aviation Authority
  • Drawing on the expertise of our members we are an influential voice in the industry and with policymakers and regulators in the UK and across Europe
  • We are politically independent and speak without fear or favour on behalf of our members
  • The voice of skilled and expert staff in the aviation industry must be heard
  • Key links for more detail: prospect.org.uk/brexit-and-aviation

EU nationals

Key issues

  • Ongoing, immediately-damaging uncertainty for EU Nationals in UK
  • Increased hate crime and climate of xenophobia in the wake of the referendum
  • Inadequacies of the existing (currently extra-EU) visa system
  • Damage to the UK’s attractiveness as a destination for international skilled workers
  • Loss of UK Nationals’ EU citizenship rights, including freedom of movement

What we are campaigning for…

  • Continued reciprocal free movement for EU27 and UK Nationals – see our leaflet on Supporting EU Nationals in unsettling times
  • Immediate clarity on EU Nationals rights to remain and work in the UK, including the UK civil service
  • A future immigration system that works for members, their families and their industries
  • Recognition of the vital contribution international workers and their families make to the UK economy and societal good
  • Redoubling of resistance to discrimination on all grounds

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect is actively working for EU Nationals among our membership
  • We provide information and services that you need during these uncertain times
  • We are politically independent, and we will take your message wherever it needs to be heard: to employers, to politicians, to the public
  • We speak for experts, giving us credibility and influence in every sphere
  • We create a safe space for EU Nationals to speak up, giving access to political representatives.
  • We responded to a call for evidence from the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) on the economic and social impact of the UK’s exit from the EU and how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy – Brexit: Shaping the future for EU nationals

Food and Agriculture

Key issues

  • The threat to free movement of specialist staff, especially in an industry with high dependence on international expertise
  • Complex interdependence of regulation, enforcement, and trade negotiations – which will increase the demands on an already strained workforce as Brexit introduces new requirements
  • Risks to cross-border responses to pollution and disease
  • Potential erosion of public health, environmental and animal welfare standards

What we are doing

  • We are campaigning for the continued reciprocal free movement for EU27 and UK Nationals
  • We are requesting immediate clarity on EU Nationals rights to remain and work in the UK, including the UK civil service
  • We are focussed on the underpinning of gold-standard regulation, with no policy vacuums
  • We are strongly recommending commitment to full participation in international environmental protection networks

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect is the leading union for environmental specialists, scientists and technicians.
  • We represent regulators and inspectors in all aspects of health, safety and environment.
  • Our campaigning and lobbying reflects our members’ deep expertise and experience, giving us credibility and influence
  • Our collective voice is free of the restrictions that apply to individual employees, including those in the public services.
  • We are politically independent, giving us the freedom to speak in our members’ interest without fear or favour.

Heritage

Key issues

  • Impact on staffing of restrictions on movement/ability to work
  • Potential negative impact on art/object loans in/out and international collaboration
  • Potential negative impact on funding through loss of European-based grants

What we are doing

  • We are using our Brexit Heritage survey in industry-specific campaigning
  • We are supporting the wider Prospect campaign on reciprocal rights
  • We are currently developing a plan to reprise the very successful “Heritage in A Cold Climate” campaign, including an imminent survey and a key seminar in April 2018

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect is the leading union for heritage professionals.
  • Our campaigning and lobbying prioritises members’ concerns & draws on their experience and expertise.
  • Joining will help us to campaign by expanding our knowledge/increasing our expertise.
  • We are politically independent and speak without fear or favour on behalf of members.
  • Without proper funding guarantees and maintenance of international networks, future employment opportunities will be damaged.

Film and TV

Key issues

  • Potential restriction of movement of props, equipment, and costumes that could add delays and encourage employers to relocate
  • Concerns about portability and the potential impact of pan-European licensing on audio visual products
  • Loss of EU funding through Creative Europe that has helped to the independent film sector
  • Changes in the Country of Origin rules that could threaten the UK role as a hub for playout of 1400 TV channels

What we are doing

  • Lobbying politicians and government about the impact of Brexit on the film and TV sector
  • Providing support and advice to members with questions about how they are affected

Reasons to join BECTU

  • BECTU is the leading union for film and TV workers
  • We provide to date information about the effect of Brexit on the film and TV sector
  • The more members we have the greater our impact on policy-makers

Employment law

Key issues

  • A significant number of our rights at work are derived from, or underpinned by, EU directives
  • The UK will no longer be automatically protected by these minimum EU standards
  • The EU (Withdrawal) Bill provides wide ranging rights for the Government to repeal or amend existing rights
  • UK law will not need to keep pace with future new EU law
  • Existing case law derived from decisions of the European Courts will be at risk of being overturned by the Supreme Court
  • The end of freedom of movement across the EU will affect the rights EU nationals working in the UK and UK nationals working in the EU

What we are doing

  • We are campaigning strongly to maintain all existing rights. There have been alarmingly mixed messages from Government ministers, and we need to hold them to account to not only maintain but enhance workers’ rights
  • We continue to campaign and lobby for improvements to employment law. We also encourage all members to lobby their MPs on this issue
  • We are pressing for commitments that any future changes can only be through full parliamentary scrutiny and process and not by secondary legislation as currently proposed
  • We believe that new rights reached in the EU should be replicated for UK workers
  • We will be vigilant to campaign against this and use litigation strategically to defend rights in the courts
  • We are fighting for reciprocal free movement for workers and for existing rights of family members are retained

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect represents members in the workplace and successfully resolves personal cases for hundreds of members each year
  • We use our collective strength to argue for employment rights, through responding to Government consultations, lobbying Parliament, and highlighting issues
  • Prospect works with the TUC and other unions to positively influence employment law rights and remedies
  • The union negotiates improvements in terms and conditions in the workplace. There is strong evidence of the ‘union advantage’ demonstrating how unionised workplaces have higher pay, better safety conditions, and less discrimination at work
  • Without the backing of a trade union, pursuing rights through the tribunals and courts is extremely complex and costly. Prospect has a strong record of successfully pursuing litigation for members at all levels of the legal system
  • Prospect will campaign and lobby to ensure existing rights are protected

KEY RESOURCES

Northern Ireland

Key issues

  • A hard border on the island of Ireland would be a disaster, not least given the risk of undermining the peace process, and Prospect are committed to campaigning to ensure that the border remains invisible.
  • This must means that there are no additional checks on goods, agri-foods or people at the border and will involve significant regulatory alignment.

What we are doing

  • We are campaigning against any plan that would result in a hard border on the island of Ireland.
  • We are championing the regulatory alignment and customs union that would remove the need for a hard border.
  • In the event of a No Deal scenario we are committed to campaigning for an extension to the negotiations rather than crashing out without a deal.

Reasons to join Prospect

  • Prospect represents workers across different sectors of the economy in Northern Ireland, and (in its BECTU sector) also represents freelance workers in the Republic of Ireland
  • Our Northern Ireland branches have consistently led the debate on Brexit within the union and have been instrumental in setting our policy
  • We are politically independent and campaign to support the interests of our members rather than for any specific political party or cause.
  • We provide legal guidance and support for our members and keep them informed about the implications of Brexit for their rights and their industry.

How Prospect can help its members during Brexit

Prospect’s campaigning

Deputy general secretary Sue Ferns on Prospect’s priorities for EU national members during Brexit

Brexit implications for STEM

Parliamentary launch event of Prospect’s report ‘The implications of Brexit for STEM – Experiences from the frontline’.

Implications for EU nationals

Member’s reactions after attending a Prospect employment law seminar on the implications of Brexit for EU nationals