David Cameron has failed to reveal how he will rebuild the alliances he needs in Europe to deliver EU reform, and has no answers on tackling the exploitation of migrant labour and the undercutting of wages, Labour MEPs warned today.
Responding to David Cameron's long-promised speech on EU migration reform, Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's Leader in Europe, said:
“It is unclear how David Cameron intends to deliver his latest migration policies. There are big questions about whether he will get Europe-wide agreement - he is isolated in Europe, lacking allies and influence, and has spent the past few years burning bridges rather than building them.
“Instead of trying to out-Farage Farage, he should have used his speech today to start afresh and set out sensible, practical plans. For example, Labour has already announced plans to stop recruitment agencies and employers exploiting immigration to undercut wages and jobs - workable policies not broken promises.
“He is forever chasing UKIP’s tail, desperately trying to appease his braying backbenchers, and in so doing he is in danger of sleepwalking towards the EU exit door, risking billions in investment and millions of jobs.”
Glenis Willmott MEP added:
“In his speech today, David Cameron barely mentioned the exploitation of migrants by unscrupulous employers, and the impact on local wages.
“Labour will make serious exploitation a crime to prevent gangmasters exploiting migrants to undercut local jobs and wages, and we will increase enforcement of the rules by giving councils the power to prosecute people breaking them.
“Labour will reform the Posted Workers Directive to strengthen rights for workers, and we will reform the Agency Workers Directive by closing down loopholes in agency worker laws that enable firms to undercut directly employed staff.
“We need much stronger action to stop employers who are exploiting cheap migrant labour to undercut wages and jobs - stopping agencies who are only recruiting from abroad, or firms that are exploiting zero hours contracts or not paying the minimum wage.
“Only Labour has the policies we need to stop local workers being undercut by the unfair exploitation of migrants.”