Two UK organisations have sent messages to Prime Minister David Cameron as he limbers up for negotiations with other EU leaders over the terms of this country’s continued membership of the Union.
Unfortunately, it will be impossible for the Prime Minister to satisfy both the GMB union and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Strictly speaking the union’s message was directed not at Mr Cameron but at the other leaders from whom he is expected to seek concessions and opt-outs. The GMB fears that exemptions from parts of the Working Time Directive and the Agency Workers Directive will be on his shopping list.

In a letter to the EU leaders, Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said: “British workers are already less well protected than many of their counterparts across the EU, and we urge EU Governments and institutions not to allow further erosion of this situation.”

While the Prime Minister, who has still to spell out his wish list, considers that message, he also has a letter in his in-tray from BCC Director General, John Longworth, reminding him that the status quo is not an option.

He must, the BCC insists, sort out the stuttering internal market in services and also the market in goods which is “imperfect and unravelling”.

Mr Longworth adds the need to protect UK businesses from the regulatory burdens imposed by the EU to his list of demands, particularly ‘those that do not relate directly to trade’.

Finally, the Prime Minister must negotiate a clear and balanced approach to immigration “taking into account the need for stability and social cohesion and driven by the skills requirements of our economy”, meaning businesses can access the talent they need.

Mr Cameron may have had trickier assignments but it is hard to think of one.

Source – Croner a Wolters Kluwer business.

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