As trade union organisations with members in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic, we want a post-Brexit deal that protects their jobs through frictionless trade in goods and services.
Our unions will have members both in and out of the European Union, often working for the same employer.
They must continue to have equal guarantees to their basic rights at work. And not just on Brexit day, but in the aftermath, so that rights in Britain and Northern Ireland don’t fall behind the Republic and rest of the EU after Brexit.
We are seriously concerned about the impact of this process on our members’ jobs, rights and livelihoods.
Theresa May’s decision to rule out single market and customs union membership before the negotiations even began was an historic mistake.
All options that facilitate frictionless trade in goods and services should be on the table when the UK and EU start negotiating their long term relationship.
Trade unions played a key role in the Good Friday Agreement.
We have decades of experience of negotiations behind us, and we call on the UK Prime Minister to put party manoeuvring behind her.
We need politicians from all sides, and each devolved administration, as well as business and unions, involved in negotiating our future. That’s the only way to prevent the return to a hard border, and ensure that workers don’t pay the price of Brexit.
Patricia King, General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress;
Owen Reidy, Assistant General Secretary (NI), Irish Congress of Trade Unions