The Portuguese Socialist Party sweep to victory but is this the end of their economic insurgence?

Three days ago, Portugal’s Socialist party (PS) won a huge mandate in their general election. Antonio Costa’s party won 36.6% of the vote winning 106 seats in their Parliament. Portugal stands alone in Europe as a place where progressive politics are hugely dominant. PS will most likely head into government with Left Bloc or CDU support.

Not only are their socialists about to enter their 2nd term in power they remain one of the few nations that uses proportional representation to have zero far right presence in their parliament. This success story can be traced to the hugely impressive economic recovery the government engineered.

However, with the Socialist Party gaining more power, oddly this may mean the end of radical political vision. Portugal’s economic recovery can be traced from the left-wing coalition that has ruled the country since the General Election in 2014. PS came 2nd but entered government with the left bloc and Portuguese communist party following years of austerity after a bailout. Portugal was one of the worst sufferers post the financial crash.

The conservative Portuguese Social Democratic party embraced austerity, CTT, public mail company and REN, national electric network, freezing public sector pay and raising regressive taxes like VAT. Education got a 23 per cent spending cut, and health and social security went the same way.

The result was 17.5 per cent unemployment in 2013, a 41 per cent jump in company bankruptcies and year after year of net economic decline.

The left took on the gauntlet in 2015 imposing a Keynesian approach to the economic crisis that many were highly sceptical of. PS enacted a reversal of the majority of the cuts while regaining this revenue from taxes on the richest.

The Troika reforms enacted by the previous government were overturned, a 30% increase in spending, while increasing the minimum wage, reversing VAT rises and reintroducing scrapped holidays.

They funded this by adding tax brackets at the top of the income scale while introducing taxes on sugar and increasing it on other luxuries.

The program has proven to be nothing less than brilliant. The economy has grown in every year since they took and Portugal’s economic growth was higher than the EU average in recent years, 2.4 percent in 2018, while unemployment rates fell to the level before the debt crisis.

Miraculously this has been achieved while reducing the deficit which is now almost zero, a historic low. However, this is unsurprising as tax has been levelled on those with the greatest ability to pay. This means spending is retained in the economy while tax take is not decreased. The economic program was designed eloquently to grow the economy and use this growth to reduce the public deficit.

However, such economic quality may be lost due to PS’s large win. A significant number of the policies that have been critical in Portugal’s recovery were only implemented due to their need for support from the 2 far left parties. 

The Left Bloc have struggled to increase their vote share in line with PS. They pushed for more infrastructure spending as well as a nationalisation program. Speaking to Joana Ramiro, a Portuguese journalist, she expressed her dissatisfaction with PS’s progressive credentials.

She said: “Calls for the re-nationalisation of main services, like those lead by the Labour Party, are something PS won’t hear a word of.”

PS’s current manifesto wants to keep the deficit low with controlled spending, but will increase public investment in the national health system and in transport system. This is on top of raising pensions and the minimum wage.

Many on Portugal’s left say this does not go nearly far enough to repair their struggling public services and run-down infrastructure. Their coalition partners may make this more progressive but at present PS offer run of the mill social democracy.

However, the left’s economic program over the last 5 years has helped PS gain a comfortable mandate for governing. While they may not be pushing the edges of radical reform, they show the EU’s left that rejecting austerity is key to winning back support.

You don’t love it or hate it but face it, a customs union is the only orderly Brexit

Many expected the deadlock around Brexit to be broken last night. With Labour whipping for 2 soft Brexit proposals, one could be forgiven for believing that the partisan bind which has engulfed Parliament for the last 5 months would, at last, be over. Even though none of the indicative votes gained a majority, there is at last a deal which seems able to command a majority in the Commons

The proposed customs union deal was only 3 votes away from securing a majority- the narrowest of defeats with 273 ‘Ayes’ and 276 ‘Noes’ demonstrating that, what is essentially Labour’s Brexit plan, can muster considerable support in the house.

Labour proved on Monday that it is the only party willing to offer a compromise on Brexit. A lesser party might be expected to have a more obstructionist approach to Brexit, but Labour proved that, unlike the majority in the Commons, it is willing to act like adults and try to reach out. The Conservatives’ ideological purity is now the main block to a sensible Brexit deal. Don’t believe me? Listen to Nick Boles talk about his own (former) party’s Brexit approach.

After yesterday’s infuriatingly narrow defeat, there are many who need to have a long hard look in the mirror and decide what they truly want. Indeed, no more so than the 20 Labour MPs who voted against their own party policy and against the whip on the customs union. They have irrevocably shamed the party, not to mention the country, and I don’t buy that those who represent leave seats were justified in doing so.

They were elected as Labour representatives on a softer Brexit stance; one which advances a Brexit deal based on the protection of workers’ and citizens’ rights as well as preserving this nation’s economy. Labour’s great success in 2017 was partly due to their moderate Brexit stance; a position that was accepted by remainers and leavers alike. Labour’s plan is not a betrayal of the leave vote, far from it. To vote against the plan, while inevitably driving us towards a No Deal is not only irresponsible but also sticking the proverbial two fingers up to the remainers who voted for them in good faith.

You will struggle to find any Labour MP whose votes did not mainly come from remain voters, but these voters have been forgotten by these 20 MPs. The logic of Labour’s Owen Smith, an ardent remainer, voting against such a deal was more ideological purity that the public are so sick of.

While Labour may have had some irresponsible rebels attempting to sully the name of the party, the blame does not lie solely with them. Indeed, other parties were keen not to be outdone in narrow mindedness and ideological purity.

The nationalist parties led the way. Plaid Cymru and the SNP both could have swung the vote. But they abstained. The Green’s sole MP, Caroline Lucas, voted against in another bizarre display of logic from an MP who supports a People’s Vote. It was a classic show of Brexit politicisation: ideology first, consequences second.

With all the power now back in the hands of the Conservatives, these MPs should ask themselves why they voted to increase the chances of a catastrophic No Deal? The scenario reminds me of a situation in The West Wing. A minimum wage amendment gets attached to a vote on the debt ceiling. For those unfamiliar with US politics, by not raising the debt ceiling, the result would most likely be a crash in the world economy.

The question remains: how long can MPs sustain playing this high-stakes game of chicken for. It is clear the Tories want a No Deal. An average of 24 Tory MPs voted for each option last night. It is up to the rest of the parties to govern responsibility and deliver a customs union.

It is a deal that should satisfy those who understand that there will be no unicorns. It delivers tariff free access to the single market, mitigating large economic damage while ending freedom of movement and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK. The compromise for this is ceding control of our common external tariff to the EU, a price that may be worth paying to avoid No Deal. It does not mean we cannot make trade deals, Turkey is in a customs union with the EU but still have trade deals with 3rd party states, but does mean we are restrained by this external tariff. The price for maintaining trade with our largest trading partner and the largest tariff-free market in the world.

If MPs truly want us to leave the EU it is time for them to compromise and end this chaos. Deliver a deal that can get Parliamentary support. A customs union Brexit is the only deal that can get support without heading back to the polls. Without a general election or People’s Vote it must be a customs union Brexit.

Chaos as Tory MP sacked hours after Home secretary backs his amendment

A new amendment tabled by Alberto Costa that seeks to guarantee EU citizens’ rights post Brexit has caused chaos within the Tory Party.

Theresa May originally described the amendment as unworkable but just hours later the Home Secretary said the party would be supporting it.

Alberto Costa was then sacked from his role as parliamentary private secretary to the Scottish secretary, David Mundell. It is unclear at present if the Tories will back the amendment.

Labour have announced they will back the amendment which already has the support of 130 MPs including 60 Tories, including some euro skeptics such as Jacob Rees Mogg.

The amendment seeks to guarantee the rights of all British nationals in the EU and EU nationals in the UK even in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
It calls on May to seek at “the earliest opportunity a joint UK-EU commitment to adopt part two of the withdrawal agreement on citizens’ rights and ensure its implementation prior to the UK’s exiting the European Union, whatever the outcome of negotiations on other aspects of the withdrawal agreement”.

“This is not about the single market or the customs union, this is about the rights of innocent people, most of whom did not have a say in the referendum, including British nationals in the EU,”

Alberto Costa

Despite Costa being sacked, Sajid Javid said there was “nothing wrong” with the amendment and believed the government had been supporting it from the start.

“I’m perfectly happy with that amendment. What Mr Costa is doing with this amendment is trying to find more ways for parliament to give that reassurance, This is a backbench amendment and the government supports the amendment in that it sets out to achieve the principles we all agree on.”

Sajid Javid

As well as having Labour’s backing the amendment is backed by prominent MPs such as Iain Duncan Smith, Dominic Raab, Nigel Evans, Zac Goldsmith, Craig Mackinlay, Anna Soubry and Justine Greening.

If put to a vote the amendment is expected to pass comfortably.

Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on the sacking of Conservative MP Alberto Costa, said:

“The sacking of Alberto Costa for supporting citizens’ rights prolongs the anxiety and uncertainty that over 5 million people have faced for two and a half years. Alberto Costa’s amendment was a sensible measure trying to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and our own British citizens in the EU.”

Building social housing could have saved government AND renters billions

A report by the Local Government Association has found that building 100,000 government funded social rent homes a year would have saved the government billions on housing benefit while reducing rents for tenants and generating wider economic returns.

Analysis found that in the 20 year period tenants would have seen a disposable income increase of £1.8 billion. 

To build the homes over the 20 years the government would have had to borrow £152 billion in 2017 prices but for every pound borrowed the government would get a £2.84 return. This would be in the form of additional tax revenue from the building industry as well as savings in housing benefit. This is a long term profit of £280 billion.

Many have accused the current government of doing nothing to solve the housing crisis. Affordable house-building is at a 24-year low. Labour have committed to building at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale.

The government did finally listen to the local government association by
scrapping the housing borrowing limits, that hampered the ability of councils to invest in new and existing homes, in the latest budget but further flexibility could lead to increased house building.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Housing spokesman, said:

Every penny spent on building new social housing is an investment that has the potential to bring significant economic and social returns.

“Now is the time to reverse the decline in council housing over the past few decades. This is the only way to help families struggling to meet housing costs, provide homes to rent and reduce homelessness while also providing economic growth and lowering the housing benefit bill.

Talking about the report, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey, said it “showed the huge cost of Conservative Ministers’ disastrous decision to slash funding for new social housing”.
Healey added:

“Deep cuts to investment mean the country is now building 30,000 fewer social rented homes each year than we were with Labour, with higher rents for households and a higher housing benefit bill as a result.

He said a Labour government would build a million low-cost homes over ten years, including the biggest council housebuilding programme for nearly 40 years.

Problems with housing stem back long before the current Conservative administration but both Cameron and May have done nothing to solve the housing crisis.

1 in 10 live in a council house today, this is compared to over 1 in 3 in 1997.
The number of homes built for social rent each year has fallen from over 40,000 in 1997 to 6,000 in 2017. When viewing these statistics we should bear in mind New Labour did not have the best record on housing policy. Many would argue you would have to go back to the government of Harold Wilson to see a government with a real commitment to building social housing.

The loss of social housing has been partly responsible for the rampant rise in house prices and has led to more and more individuals and families finding themselves pushed into an often more expensive and less secure private rented sector to find housing.

More social housing would also help reduce the number of homeless citizens.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said:

As well as cutting the benefit bill and driving down homelessness, a stable supply of social housing would be a national asset. It would give a step up to families struggling in expensive and unstable rented accommodation, enabling them to put down roots and plan for the future. Children could stay in the same school, support networks and communities could flourish and society as a whole would be better off.

Tory Civil War breaks out afresh as business minister says ERG guilty of treachery

Internal party fighting has once again broken out in the Conservative Party following the government’s defeat in the House of Commons last night.

Business Minister Richard Harrington, who is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry & Energy, in an interview with The House magazine:

“The prime minister has done a pretty good job of standing up to them up till now, but they were drinking champagne to celebrate her losing her deal and I regard that as being treachery.”

The defeat in the Commons will greatly weaken May’s negotiating stance and makes a No Deal even more likely. Reports say the EU is hesitant to make changes to the Withdrawal agreement because it believes the deal would still be voted down.

MPs voted against a motion endorsing the government’s strategy by 303 to 258, with 66 Tory MPs abstaining. ERG refused to vote for the motion as they believed it signaled that the UK was taking No Deal off the table.

Harrington who has previously warned about the dangers of No Deal to the UK’s economy and said if this displeases the PM she should sack him also stated that ERG backbenchers should leave the Conservative Party as they are not conservatives.

In the same interview with House he said they should leave the party saying:

“I read that Nigel Farage is setting up a new party called Brexit and if I were them (ERG Tories) I’d be looking at that, because that seems to reflect their views more than the Conservative party. In my view, they’re not Conservatives.

Harrington said that the PM should not give into “a minority of a minority,” which is what the ERG is.

The ERG group have come up with an alternative to May’s deal known as the “malt-house compromise”. However, the minister dismissed the plan saying:

“It’s basically regurgitated Canada-plus, which we know is not at all suited to our close relationship with the European Union, plus a bit of glorified number plate recognition kit, which they’ve got there anyway.
I think it’s just fanciful nonsense.”

The malthouse compromise is an attempt to unite the Tories around a deal that will pass the house but like most ERG suggestions it has been criticised as unrealistic.

The proposal uses unspecified technology to solve the Irish Border problem.

Harrington has declared he would be happy to be sacked if May is unhappy with him speaking out about Brexit.

May is still attempting to renegotiate her deal so it can pass the Commons but the EU is unwilling to negotiate any further with the EU meaning teh UK could crash out with a No Deal. This is expected to be catastrophic for the UK economy.

Trade with the EU amounts to 44% of all UK exports and 53% of all UK imports. Adding tariffs to this trade would hurt the UK economy as imported goods would become more expensive while British goods would be less competitive in EU markets. British exporters to the EU would be hit by tariffs of around £6bn.

Over 15 years No Deal would amount to the UK economy being 9.3% smaller than if the nation had stayed in the EU. The CBI forecasts the regions worst hit would be the North East and West Midlands due to the manufacturing industries based there. Ford has predicted the economy would be £900 million worse off in 2019 alone. 

The British Chamber of Commerce has said that thousands of British companies have triggered emergency plans to cope with a no-deal Brexit, with many preparing to move operations abroad if the UK crashes out of the EU.

Labour Students’ national elections in disarray as majority of Scots excluded from voting and Northern candidates unable to stand

The elections to Labour students national committee are in disarray as it has been revealed the central structure has implemented changes that have prevented the majority of Scots voting while simultaneously stopping any Northern candidates from standing.

This is the first year elections to the committee will be elected by One Member one vote (OMOV) , a voting system that when implemented normally sees more left-wing candidates gain success.

The problem has arisen from the affiliation of clubs. Labour students have only 1 affiliated club in the North of England, Durham, while members from only 2 out of 7 clubs in Scotland have been granted the vote.

Clubs have not been able to affiliate due to a number of issues. Most members blame Labour Students for this problem but Labour Students deny this and say data protection is a factor.

Scottish Labour, in an open letter to Labour students’ executive, asked for the elections to be halted and time permitted to allow this problem to be rectified.

Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow East has also spoken out against the lack of democratic process in the elections tweeting:

In a statement Labour Students said:

No club has been barred from affiliating, no member at an affiliated club barred from voting, and no member barred from being a candidate or delegate, provided the requirements, emailed to chairs and/or members, were met.

 

This has been disputed by many members as more than half of all Labour clubs in the UK have been denied affiliation by some criteria.

The problem of affiliated clubs has stopped the majority of Scottish students voting but it has also stopped Northern candidates standing due to the rules on candidates getting on the ballot.

https://twitter.com/rowanmay_/status/1095248077873647616

This means for the 2nd year in a row Labour students’ national committee will have no northern representation.

Many believe Labour Students’ full-time officers have made it deliberately difficult to affiliate to disenfranchise left-wing students so that the committee, which is considered to be on the right of the party, remains in right-wing control.

Reports say that members who publicly support right-wing members within the party have had private members from the executive reminding them to verify their clubs and themselves while left-wing clubs and supporters have been ignored by the committee.

Labour Student National Committee is made up of 25 elected officers. This includes the three full-time National Officers who oversee the day-to-day running of the organisation.

These problems have all stemmed from the new affiliation system which is needlessly complex and many believed its designed to disenfranchise voters.

Labour student formerly worked on a delegate system that would elect the national committee at conference. During this time you were automatically a member of Labour students if you paid the student rate to the Labour Party. Affiliation was also much simpler with any club just needing to provide details of 10 members in their club.

However, this changed with the introduction of OMOV. A new constitution was drawn up the full-time officers and was voted on without being able to be amended. As it included the introduction of OMOV the new constitution passed.

Since June 2016, a number of excuses and delaying tactics have been used to avoid having to implement the OMOV with 2 elections taking place using the delegate system despite the supposed change to OMOV.

In 2018 Labour students, without a vote, severed its ties with the Labour Party’s membership database. Many believe this was done to stop Labour’s NEC having oversight of their elections.

Instead, Labour students established their own database and a new joining fee of £1 to Labour students, separate to the fee paid by members to the Labour Party.

These changes have not been communicated with members and certain bureaucratic barriers have been raised to stop members voting.

To register to vote a member must:

  • Join Labour Students via their new system.
  • Attend an institution that has a Labour Society at its Student Union (If your university doesn’t have a club, you’ve already been barred from voting despite having paid for membership.).
  • Make sure your club affiliates on time(With an arbitrary deadline of 31st December set without sufficient communication). The club must have 10 members as before but with rules lifted from American electoral rules. If any details of any members were incorrect the entire request was denied with no clarification.
  • Finally, to get a vote members had to individually verify their membership of the Labour club they were part of.

Members say no compromise or flexibility has been shown in the system and arbitrary rigid rules have been imposed as a method of cutting down the eligible electorate as an act of voter suppression.

Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief

You may be wondering how could executive of Labour Students be this incompetent in setting up an election? The answer is this is most likely what they wanted. In Labour’s ongoing civil war this is a last attempt of the right of the party to hold onto a section of Labour it still controls.

Like a Republican governor in a southern state, they have effectively stopped the affiliation of clubs and made the electorate much more manageable. The registration process has become so complex and unbending that undesirable votes have been stopped from being cast.

The elections must be run postponed so that a fair democratic election can take place.

If May wants to deliver Brexit she must embrace Labour’s customs union plan

We have had 24 months of political games over Brexit. A non-stop melody of fantasy plans and partisan politics has got us, predictably, nowhere. If the Prime Minister wants to deliver on the referendum it’s time she embraced the only credible plan available. Labour’s Customs Union Brexit.

Last July, when May’s original plan was rejected by the EU it seemed obvious to me that softening her plan to negotiating a customs union was the only logical option. In fact, I wrote this article spelling out the advantages of Labour’s plan. May had already adopted Labour’s suggestions on a transitional period involving staying in the single market. May wanted tariff-free trade but her first attempts to gain it via part access to the single market was strongly rebuffed. God this seems like ancient history doesn’t it.

Instead, she kicked the can down the road. Opting to let the clock tick down, whilst constantly justling with the demands and wishes of her extremist backbenchers, who week by week threatened to take her down.

I will not accept No Deal and I am sure Parliament won’t either. I would fear for our futures if the people who decide our economic policy would wave through a No Deal Brexit predicted to cause us £900 million in economic damage in 2019 alone.

Despite this No Deal is looking a likely option, it is time for the grown-ups to take control of negotiations. Labour and Keir Starmer have had the solution for a long time now.

At this stage, a Brexit plan must deliver on 3 objectives:

1. It must be accepted by Parliament.

2. It must be accepted by the EU

3. It must be grounded in a view that doesn’t involve some sort of Blitz spirit.

May’s plan failed because it cannot and never will fulfil objective 1 and 2 at the same time. The EU believes the backstop to be neccesary while Tory Brexiteers view it as unacceptable.

Labour’s plan can pass these tests. Working backwards it is grounded in reasonable economic logic. Tariff-free access to the single market will mitigate the damage in our manufacturing sector and while it will make the UK’s economy weaker the damage will be tiny in comparison to a No Deal Brexit.

The EU would also accept Labour’s deal. Michel Barnier has said the EU is ”
open to creating a customs union with the UK ” and more critically still
Jean-Claude Juncker has told Theresa May that to remove the backstop from her Brexit deal she would need to shift to wanting a customs union.

Parliament is the tricky part. Even with the backstop removed hard Brexiteers won’t vote for a customs union with the EU. If Labour proposes this deal it won’t pass either. May has whipped against every attempt to deliver a customs unions post Brexit purely because Labour thought of it first. However, if the Prime Minister adopts it as her policy it would pass the house. Labour can’t conceivably vote against their own proposals while maintaining they will deliver on the referendum.

The mathematics behind this is simple. At present 147 MPs are strict followers of Labour’s Brexit policy, 191 Tory MPs are followers of May’s. Given that the DUP are likely to vote for such a plan this puts the deal comfortably over the top.

May should stop grandstanding about delivering Brexit. If she wants to do it she should embrace Labour’s plan. If not she should send us back to the polls.

May will survive this leadership challenge- And that’s what we want to happen

Dead. The word that best describes Theresa May’s Brexit deal. She has walked the tightrope of Brexit for longer than many expected but this deal is one step too far. Her cynical attempts to delay the vote are not only undemocratic but immoral. May hoped to have the vote on her deal at the 11th hour with a No Deal bearing down on us if it was rejected. That was the only way she could pass it, that was the only way she could keep her job.

However, this plan hasn’t gone well with her own benches but while the Tories are in disarray but we should keep the champagne on ice if May falls.

Any figure who could replace May will be a more dangerous animal, both politically and economically. A Brexiteer would win a leadership challenge, whether this would be Raab or Javid or anyone else, it will a Brexiteer. The Conservative membership chooses between the last 2 candidates and Conservative party members are ardent Brexit supporters. Theresa May found that out on LBC when one of her own councillors rang up to tell her to resign in the last flurry of resignations.

May’s Brexit deal makes her vulnerable. She has shown she will not change course and while she may attempt to use the prospect of a No Deal to scare MPs into voting for her deal it still might not pass. That is her weakness that can bring about a general election, a new Tory leader will not have this weakness. If the Tories replace May the next general election will be in 2022.

The left should want May to survive.

Luckily she will.  It has taken the Brexit rebels 3 attempts to round up 48 votes to trigger a vote of no confidence. The Brexiteers need 3x more votes (159) just to trigger a leadership contest. May should survive especially with the support of Sajid Javid and Michael Gove.

The rejection of this deal though throws up huge constitutional issues. With time running out it might not be possible to send May back for another deal. Even if we can, what Brexit deal passes Parliament?

Credit: Election Maps UK

I personally think Labour’s Brexit plan cannot pass the house in its current form with backing from the Tory frontbench. Even with a Labour win in a general election, it would not be certain to do so especially if any government had SNP support.

Starmer and Corbyn have played a masterclass in politics over Brexit. They found the narrow path to a softer Brexit than the government without needing the EEA. That strategy has brought us here and when May’s deal does not pass Parliament they must act quickly to trigger a general election, their position on Brexit in their manifesto might decide the election but that is a question for after any succesful vote of no confidence, and failing that a Referendum on Brexit. Those counselling against the latter should remember Labour campaigned for Remain, the party believes its the better option, and certainly is a better option than the Tory Brexit on offer.

For any of thee scenarios to occur, May must survive. If a new Tory leader emerges we will be plunged into a Hard Brexit and 4 more years of Tory rule.

Courts deny Deliveroo riders collective bargaining rights in victory for ‘gig economy’

Deliveroo riders have been barred rights to collective bargaining, the High Court has ruled.

The High Court dismissed a judicial review challenge brought by the up and coming Independent Workers Union of Great Britain which wished to attain recognition from the company so it could represent its workers in collective bargaining negotiations.

The court case is yet another legal test to the “gig economy”.

The Union claimed by not recognising them the company was in violation Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The CAC ruled last year that there was overwhelming support from the riders to collectively bargain through their chosen trade union, the IWGB, but that a collective bargaining unit could not be formed because the riders were not workers or employees. The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) found last November that Deliveroo riders were not classified as workers as they because they were able to ask other riders to take on deliveries for them and therefore not entitled to collective bargaining rights.

The Union challenged they were outside the definition of “workers” who could be represented by a union in bargaining negotiations.

In a statement, the Independent Worker Union said:

The IWGB fundamentally disagrees on High Court judge Michael Supperstone’s interpretation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and how it should be applied. Article 11 guarantees trade union rights as a basic human right.

The Independent Workers Union plan to appeal the decision.

In a statement Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the union said:

“Today’s judgement is a terrible one, not just in terms of what it means for low paid Deliveroo riders, but also in terms of understanding the European Convention on Human Rights. Deliveroo riders should be entitled to basic worker rights as well as to the ability to be represented by trade unions to negotiate pay and terms and conditions. The IWGB will appeal this decision and continue to fight for these rights until we are victorious”.

The outcome of the case will be watched by other new age firms closely. Uber is currently waiting to see if the Court of Appeal will overturn a decision that a number of its drivers should be classified as workers rather than self-employed.

Analysis from Editor in Chief- Iwan Doherty

I am not a legal expert but even I can see that our judiciary is struggling with our outdated laws and definitions regarding the classification and rights of workers. The country needs to modernise its laws regarding workers rights to cope with the changes in the nature of employment. Deliveroo workers are workers and should be able to be represented by Unions for negotiations regarding pay and sick leave. Holiday pay was first enshrined into law in 1938 it should not be denied to workers in 2018.