Euro Unions `Would Run Labour Britain'; AS THE IRON LADY BUYS HER SUNDAY LUNCH, HER SUCCESSOR WARNS OF BEER AND BAGUETTES IN BRUSSELS

Daily Mail (London), April 19, 1997 | Go to article overview

Euro Unions `Would Run Labour Britain'; AS THE IRON LADY BUYS HER SUNDAY LUNCH, HER SUCCESSOR WARNS OF BEER AND BAGUETTES IN BRUSSELS


Byline: JOHN DEANS

JOHN MAJOR raised the spectre yesterday of a Labour Britain run by the European trade unions.

He said Tony Blair, after bending the knee to federalists such as German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, would bow to the pressure of powerful union figures, including the European TUC.

The Premier claimed that Labour deputy leader John Prescott had already struck deals with EU union chiefs on `how to bring back the unions to Britain through Labour's sell-out in Europe'.

He warned: `If Labour won, the British government would have to negotiate every new employment law with the European trades unions.

`And British companies - perhaps as small as 50 employees - would have to agree how they ran their business with a union representative on their new works council.

`It might not be beer and sandwiches - more like beer and baguettes. But the danger would be just as great.'

Mr Major was scathing about how he expected Mr Blair's inexperience to show at the forthcoming EU summit in Amsterdam in June.

He said that, by committing Labour to the Social Chapter and minimum wage, `he has surrendered in advance a negotiating position of vital interest to the British nation'.

In a contemptuous jibe at the Labour leader, he pictured Mr Blair saying: `Here I am going off to Amsterdam. I've changed the red flag for the white flag. Here are my surrenders.'

The Premier recalled how former EU Commission president Jacques Delors had told union bosses ten years ago that the EU was their route back to the position of power they had enjoyed under the last Labour government.

Mr Major said: `From that moment, more unions and Labour MPs - many of whom had been bitter opponents of Europe - suddenly became converts.

`And for ten years they've worked together to get a government in power in Britain that would unlock the door.'

The Premier returned to the theme in a speech to a Manchester rally last night, warning that Mr Blair would be `eaten alive' by Britain's European partners. …

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Euro Unions `Would Run Labour Britain'; AS THE IRON LADY BUYS HER SUNDAY LUNCH, HER SUCCESSOR WARNS OF BEER AND BAGUETTES IN BRUSSELS
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