MEP calling on Labour to opt out of 48-hour week

PUBLISHED: 09:46 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:11 10 June 2010

THE West Country's Member of the European Parliament is calling for Britain to opt-out of the European-wide proposal to set a 48-hours limit on the working week.

THE West Country's Member of the European Parliament is calling for Britain to opt-out of the European-wide proposal to set a 48-hours limit on the working week.

Conservatives, including Neil Parish MEP, are calling on Labour MEPs to finally drop their opposition to the UK opt-out of the Working Time Directive and back British workers and small businesses.

Conservative MEP for the West Country, Neil Parish, has said tomorrow's vote could go either way - and Labour MEPs could be the difference between victory and defeat.

As this is the Second reading of the directive, scrapping the opt-out will need support from over half the total number of MEPs - at least 393.

Following an opt-out in 1993, British companies do not have to abide by European laws limiting the working week to 48 hours.

Mr Parish said: "Britain needs the opt-out now more than ever.

"We will be working up to the last minute to win support for workers' rights to choose their hours, rather than having them dictated by socialists who claim to represent them.

"Labour MEPs must now back British businesses and workers, who are struggling to make ends meet. Many people choose to work longer hours to provide a better life for themselves and their families, and politicians should be helping them rather than getting in their way.

"Gordon Brown must read his MEPs the riot act this week - before it is too late.


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