Plans to set up a raft of Europe-wide regulation for pay talks between employers and trade unions were condemned today by Conservative MEPs.

Employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre said approval by MEPs of a report on cross-border collective bargaining set a dangerous precedent.

She insisted: "Conservative MEPs voted against this because it is simply not an area where the EU should legitimately get involved.

"Sadly it was voted through with the enthusiastic support of MEPs from the British Labour Party, no doubt acting on the instructions of their trade-union paymasters."

The report, by German Far-Left MEP Thomas Händel, was approved by a majority of MEPs in Strasbourg yesterday afternoon (Thursday). It seeks to create a Europe-wide set of rules and regulations for negotiations on pay and conditions in companies that operate in more than one EU state.

Analysis of the voting received today shows that 11 Labour MEPs, including GMB-sponsored delegation leader Glenis Willmott, voted in favour of the report.

Miss McIntyre said: "There is not sufficient evidence to justify EU policy initiatives or action in this area. Instead we must respect the traditions of individual member states and allow companies the flexibility to tailor their agreements to the legislative and industrial frameworks in which they operate.

"Worryingly, the report also demands a greater role for trade unions in shaping EU policy. We absolutely object to any further interference between the trade unions and elected policy makers, but Labour MEPs continue to dance to the trade-union tune."

The announcement of hundreds of new jobs at Jaguar Land Rover was welcomed by West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre during a speech in Strasbourg.

The Conservative employment spokesman told the European Parliament the creation of the jobs, working on the development of new models at Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull factory, was a huge boost for Britain and the region.

During a debate on youth employment she said: "This is one of the biggest challenges facing member states. Only by growing our economies and encouraging new businesses will we see youth unemployment come down.

"Today Jaguar Land Rover a major employer in my region – the West Midlands – announced the creation of 1,700 new jobs at their Solihull factory. This is wonderful news and gives great hope to the young people in my region.

"It is so important to develop an entrepreneurial culture and an environment that is conducive to starting a business.

"Many young people have great ideas and great ambition. We must encourage them and recognise that some may fail. Someone who has never made a mistake has never made anything. 

"Many member states, including my own, have already put in place comprehensive initiatives including expanding apprenticeships and investing in training to help young people get into the labour market. The British Government has committed about £1bn as part of a new 'youth contract.'  Recent figures in the UK showed in three months the number of young people who are unemployed reduced by 43,000."

Britain's trade unions have been warned they would harm workers and cost jobs if their complaint to the European Commission about employment law ever proved successful.

The Trade Union Congress has made a formal legal objection over the United Kingdom's implementation of the European Union's Temporary Agency Worker's Directive, which came into force two years ago, claiming it is not being properly enforced.

However Anthea McIntyre, West Midlands MEP and the Conservative employment spokesman in  Europe, said: "I believe this intervention is not only futile, but totally against the best interests of workers and job-creation.

"The TUC seems to think it has found a loophole and that it can ‘have a go’ at the Government for allowing a sensible amount of flexibility into the way the regulation works in the UK. The Government is adamant that everything has been done correctly and I am sure that is the case.

"I am confident the Government will prevail, but if Labour's paymasters at the TUC were by some chance to win, the likely result would be more people thrown on the dole and fewer people who want to work having the opportunity to do so.  Companies currently giving work to people employed directly by agencies would surely have second thoughts about taking on temporary staff at all.

"You only need to look at France, where the number of job vacancies held by the leading temporary work agency Randstad fell by more than 20 per cent in two months, to learn what follows if this kind of EU directive is implemented with an excess of zeal. The Temporary Agency Worker's Directive is a perfect example of why the right to determine social legislation of this kind needs to be repatriated to the UK at the earliest opportunity."

 

A Liberal Democrat MEP’s enthusiasm for giving even more powers to the EU has seen him call for it to have its own FBI-style law-enforcement agency - with sweeping powers to intervene in criminal investigations across the continent.

In an interview with America's NBC news website, Bill Newton Dunn the East Midlands MEP, insisted that a Europe-wide police force was necessary to counter cross-border crime - and even claimed the move would save money. The proposal was described as "federalism gone mad" by West Midlands MEP, Anthea McIntyre.

Miss McIntyre, a member of the European Justice and Home Affairs Committee and the West Midlands Conservative spokesman, said:  "This is a prime example of Liberal Democrats letting their federalist ambitions get the better of them."

"Lib-Dems seem to believe that the EU must be turned into a European super state with all the trappings of statehood - president, foreign policy, diplomatic service, army and police force."

"The answer to the problems of cross-border crime are closer co-operation and co-ordination between national forces, and more-sophisticated sharing of intelligence. Not a huge Europe-wide bureaucracy and police force."

"You can imagine how our own excellent police service would react to a Euro-FBI barging in with powers to over-rule them, to interfere in their work or even take over their investigations. That is how the FBI operates in the USA."

"Europe does not need a federal police force modelled on the FBI  because it is not a federal state."

Anthea McIntyre welcomes fall in the number of people claiming the main unemployment benefit.

Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, the Conservative’s European Employment Spokesman, has welcomed new statistics that show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the West Midlands  has fallen by 2,600.

Welcoming the figures, Anthea McIntyre said:

"It’s great news that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – the main unemployment benefit – is falling in the West Midlands."

"British business is rising to the challenge of creating jobs and the Conservatives are determined to ensure that all hardworking people benefit from the recovery. There is always more to do, but these figures are encouraging, especially when seen alongside the figures showing the huge increase in Britain’s exports to both Europe and the wider-world and the fact that every sector of the British economy grew in the last quarter."

"I am, however, concerned that so many would-be employers I speak to are finding it difficult to recruit new staff, especially in fields such as engineering.  There are thousands of apprenticeship vacancies that offer high-quality training in many different skills and I urge young people to consider them as a valuable route into a rewarding career.”