RCM highlights public vote on final Brexit deal at TUC Congress

on 07 September 2018 People's Vote Campaign Brexit Abortion Women's Rights

A motion which includes calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal is being put forward by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and other unions at the TUC Congress starting today. The TUC Congress runs from the 9th -12th September in Manchester.

Within the composite motion on Brexit lead by the RCM and a number of other unions, the RCM is calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal. It argues that crashing out of the European Union would put at risk many hard-won rights at work, and that many thousands of jobs rely on trade. It stresses that there is a very real risk of a disastrous “no-deal” Brexit.

Commenting, Jon Skewes, Director for External Relations at the RCM who will also be speaking at the Congress, said:  “We firmly believe that the British public have been misled over what Brexit means for the country and are deeply concerned about the impact of Brexit on the NHS, and the staff from other EU countries working in it. We are calling for a public vote on any Brexit deal so that the people of this nation can make a choice about leaving the EU armed with real information, not the propaganda of those campaigning to leave. I have real fears that if the UK ends up with a disastrous no deal Brexit it will not only damage the UK but workers will be the ones who are hit hardest.”

The issue of abortion rights is also the subject of another motion by the RCM In support of the ‘We Trust Women’ campaign on reform of the law on abortion.  In the motion the RCM is calling for abortion to come under the same rules and regulations that apply to all other medical procedures.  The motion ‘We Trust Women – Abortion Rights’ argues that UK abortion law is out of date with medical science, human rights and social norms.  It stresses that an overwhelming majority of medical opinion is now behind decriminalisation of abortion.

Jon Skewes, said: “We have long campaigned for a change on the issue of abortion and that it should be considered like any other medical procedure. The overwhelming weight of health opinion is now behind decriminalisation with a number of prominent medical bodies now supporting it. The law as it stands is an oppressive one that puts women’s bodies and power over them in the hands of others and this, we believe, is not right.

The RCM is also supporting and has added amendments to motions on flexible working and on the rights of the Windrush generation, highlighting among their many other contributions their contribution to the NHS.

For more information on the RCM motion on abortion rights see https://www.tuc.org.uk/final-agenda-congress-2018 Motion 37 on page 33. The RCM’s Position Statement on abortion can be read here. For information on the TUC Congress see https://www.tuc.org.uk/tuc-congress-2018.

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].

Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources.