The Labour MP for Feltham and Heston Seema Malhotra has come in for praise from a Government minister for a speech in the House of Commons.

She called for workers’ rights to be protected when Britain left the European Union and for the UK to retain membership of the European single market.

The minister, David Jones MP, described the speech as “very thoughtful and useful” It was the kind of speech, he said, that would influence the Government’s as it negotiated Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

Ms. Malhotra said the Government “must give a cast-iron guarantee that there will be no dilution of current workers’ rights.”

She also warned there was a chance that women could lose out unless the Government made the needs of women a priority in the negotiations.

The Feltham and Heston MP highlighted a number of EU funds and projects which supported women. These included help to get into work, encouragement for women entrepreneurs and promoting wider representation of women in top positions across the public and private sector.

The European single market provides British firms with a home market of 500 million customers, without tariffs or other barriers. It was vital, she said, that remained a member but she recognised that there was a need to negotiate with other countries greater controls over freedom of movement.

The Hansard account of the debate is here.  Seema’s main contribution is here.

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