RCM highlights Brexit and abortion at TUC Congress

By Hollie Ewers on 10 September 2018 Brexit NHS TUC Abortion

The RCM along with other unions are putting forward a motion, which includes calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal, at the TUC Congress this week (9-12 September). 

The RCM is also supporting a motion on reform of the law of abortion.

Within the motion on Brexit, the RCM and a number of other unions are calling for a public vote on the final deal, arguing that leaving the EU would put many hard-won rights at work at risk, and that many thousands of jobs rely on trade. 

They also stress that there is a very real risk of a disastrous ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
RCM director for external relations Jon Skewes spoke at the congress today (10 September). He 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.’ 

Jon added that he has real fears that if the UK ends up with a ‘disastrous’ no-deal Brexit it will not only damage the UK, but also workers will be the ones who are hit hardest.
In support of the ‘We Trust Women’ campaign, the RCM is in favour of 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The motion ‘We Trust Women – Abortion Rights’ argues that UK abortion law is out of date with medical science, human rights and social norms.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 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 their contribution to the NHS among their many others.
More information on the RCM motion on abortion rights is available here. See Motion 37 on page 33. 

The RCM’s position statement on abortion can be read here.

Information on the TUC Congress in Manchester is available here.