David Davis, the Brexit secretary in Theresa May’s cabinet, is expected to tell business leaders in Austria that fears the Conservatives will plunge Britain into a “Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction” after leaving the EU are unfounded, according to the Guardian.
Davis will claim that May’s government aims to oversee a race to the top in global standards, listing workers’ rights, City regulation, animal welfare and the environment as areas of potential improvement.
In his speech, David Davis will say that Britain will continue its track record of high standards, despite the fact that some people have been questioning these intentions and who have been worried about a “race to the bottom”.
A recent EU commission document on workplace safety appeared to suggest UK workers could be at higher risk of cancer after Brexit as the UK might reduce regulations in this area.
The minister will try to reassure critics following comments from Damian Green, who until recently was the PM’s de facto deputy. Green had said that some of his pro-Brexit colleagues are having trouble “accepting evidence” of the economic risks of leaving the EU, and that the government should publish such analysis in full after it is produced.
Theresa May’s cabinet is made up of both ardent Brexiters and some who campaigned to remain, and they seem to have agreed that a system should be found in which the UK will align itself with the EU in some areas but diverge in others.
Recent opinion polls have shown that most of the UK public agrees with the current regulations and may even want to tighten them, on topics such as vehicle fuel emissions, renewable energy targets, working time, capping bankers’ bonuses, consumer cancellation rights.
A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research has also suggested minimal support for deregulation, and argues in favour of staying closer to the European model of trade rather than the US model.
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