Why Nicola Sturgeon believes that the EU is vital to women’s rights

Brexit would undermine the working rights that Scottish women take for granted

Image: Scottish Government

When the Leave campaign promises to cut red tape, its actually committing to slashing women’s rights, according to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Speaking to a group of mothers and children in Edinburgh, Sturgeon said:

“Being part of Europe is good for everyone in Scotland – but women in particular have benefitted from a series of progressive reforms and the crucial rights which our EU membership has guaranteed.

“When the Leave campaign talk about reducing regulation or red tape what they’re actually talking about are some of the rights women in Scotland have come to take for granted – the right to paid maternity leave, protection against discrimination and the right to equal pay.

“The current Tory government is engaged in a relentless assault on rights in the workplace – and it’s only the crucial bulwark of the EU which has prevented them going even further.

“And make no mistake; the right-wing of the Tory Party will take Brexit as a green light to dismantle as many of the key employment rights women in Scotland rely on as they can get away with.”

The TUC has previously warned that Brexit could ‘turn the clock back decades’ on women’s employment rights and would hit part-time, low paid workers—the majority of whom are women—especially hard.

Sturgeon continued:

“Scotland’s membership of the EU is not just good for your rights in the workplace, but good for job creation – with unrestricted access to the single market making Scotland an attractive place to invest and helping our exporters flourish.

“But with only two days to go until the referendum, the polls across the UK are extremely tight – and Scotland has a real opportunity to play a decisive role in the outcome.

“By uniting to vote to Remain in big numbers on Thursday, Scotland can make clear that we reject the right-wing agenda of the Brexit campaign – and protect the vital women’s rights we’ve come to take for granted, rather than leaving them in the hands of an unfettered, right-wing Tory government.”

The most recent polls confirm that Scotland is set to vote decisively to Remain. Sturgeon has been a prominent voice in the Remain campaign, and calls for a positive vote to stay in the EU.

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