Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Opt Out - What Opt Out?

The members of the European Union Parliament have voted to end the UK's opt out from the Working Time Directive, said Directive limiting the number of hours anyone can work in a week to 48; the voting being 471-273.

Leaving aside the point made in an estimate by Open Europe that ending this opt out would cost the UK economy between £47.74billion and £66.45billion by 2020, were your partner to be made redundant this vote, if adopted, means that you no longer have the opportunity of securing overtime, or an extra job, to make ends meet.

Whilst this vote is subject to 'conciliation' talks, to be held early next year, and would not come into force for a further three year,  it should be remembered that the UK would not have a veto. And it is no good Alan Duncan 'getting on his high horse', as he has done, because if the Conservatives were in power there is nothing they could do about it either, acquiescing as they do to our membership of the European Union.

Two further points: First, does it make economic sense, were this vote to be law now, that in a recession we would be stopping companies producing more goods for export and in so doing easing the balance of payments? The second point is more fundamental and that is yet again we will, more than likely, be in a position of having a change to our lives dictated by a body which is not our elected government.

One final thought - if you cannot sell your own labour as you would want then you are no better than a slave.

No comments: