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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Press Releases
12 February
SNP slate Labour-Tory cop out on Workers' rights


Ian Hudghton MEP (SNP) is slating British Labour and Tory Euro-MPís for joining forces in voting to prevent legal action being taken against the UK Government.  The UK Governmentís failure to implement the 48 hour week was the subject of a debate in the European Parliament today.
 
Mr Hudghton, who is the SNPís spokesperson on Employment matters in Europe is now asking his Scottish counterparts in the Labour and Tory Parties to explain their actions to Scottish workers.  The row comes after Euro-MPs met in Strasbourg to vote on a review of the way EU countries are implementing rules to prevent workers being forced to work more than 48 hours a week by unscrupulous employers.

Included in the review was a clause calling for legal action to be initiated against the British government for failing to prevent the 'widespread and systematic abuse' of the 48 hour maximum working week opt out negotiated by the UK.  While SNP members and their colleagues from Plaid Cymru, supported the legal action clause in a bid to defend workers from exploitation, British Labour and Tory MEPs backed an amendment which erasing the legal action provision.

Speaking from his office in Strasbourg, an angry Mr Hudghton said:
 
"Tony Blair must think all his Christmases have come at once.  Having scraped through on Tuition Fees, and Huttonís whitewash, Tonyís bacon has been saved once again by todayís charge of the Labour-Tory Light Brigade here in Strasbourg.  Once again, while Tony is let off the hook, itís the ordinary citizen who loses out.

ďTo be honest, Iím not over surprised by the Labour MEPís - itís nothing more than what weíve come to expect from Tonyís cronies, even though their membership of the Party of European Socialists in the European Parliament should come with a trade description warning.  But for Blair to be shored up by the Tories beggars belief!  After all, itís the Tories who constantly bray for the EU to take action against Governments who flout the European Unionís rules.  Why not now?

ďMEPís from both parties will have their constituents to answer to for todayís disgraceful cop-out.  This was a chance to protect British workers against further abuse of the 48 hour working week. Tonyís cronies and his Tory pals have ensured that the Government has got off scot-free again."


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