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Congress 2017: TUC delegates clash in Brexit free movement debate

DELEGATES clashed over “what shape Brexit?” at TUC Congress yesterday evening.

In a fiery debate on free movement of labour, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt pointed to the contributions made by workers born abroad.

“It is not immigrants who are destroying our NHS — our Tory Brexit government is doing that all by itself,” she stormed.

But CWU general secretary Dave Ward cautioned against “defending the existing EU free movement system come what may.”

Anything which elevated maintaining free movement above Congress's commitment to respecting the referendum result would alienate workers, he pointed out.

He was backed by Unite’s Andrew Murray, who argued that “millions of workers know that the existing arrangements have not worked for them.”

He called for “comprehensive labour market regulation” so bosses wanting to bring in labour had to abide by existing agreements.

RMT’s Eddie Dempsey slammed calls to remain in the single market.

“The single market is the EU,” he pointed out, since it made “private ownership of the economy permanent.”



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