Memorandum by Ladybrook Nursery
1. Thank you for the invitation to submit
evidence to Sub-Committee F on the Social Policy aspects of the
Convention of the Future of Europe.
2. We are believers on the Lord Jesus Christ,
belonging to a worldwide fellowship known to the Government as
Brethren which includes citizens in Denmark, France, Germany,
Spain, Italy, Ireland, Sweden as well as Britain. The Lord's Supper
(Holy Communion) is the centre of our way of life and we pray
regularly both privately and collectively for Government.
3. We fully recognise the necessity of an
employment policy which promotes full employment and the protection
of employees from exploitation by unscrupulous employers. Health
and Safety Measures too, are necessary to provide a safe and pleasant
environment for the work force in their places of employment.
This is achieved by our businesses being governed by the principles
set out in Holy Scripture.
4. Our businesses are generally small and
the relationship we enjoy with each employee is personal and direct.
We do not belong to any business or trade association as this,
for us, would involve compromise of an unequal yoke (2 Corinthians
6 v14) neither do we recognise the legitimacy of trade unions
and therefore are unable to negotiate with employee representatives.
(See Social Chapter and Conscientious Objections, 12 June 1997,
employ/relig-cpb. Business and Transport Section Research Division,
House of Commons Library).
5. Our reservations as to the Social Policy
aspect of the Convention go back to the Social Chapter of the
Maastricht Treaty. We were glad of the initial exclusion of the
UK and were therefore disappointed when this opt out was later
6. Comments on the Final Report of Working
Group XI on Social Europe CONV 516/03 Paragraph 24
We have very strong objections to the Promotion
of the Non-discrimination Provision included in the Amsterdam
Treaty (Article 13). Our concerns have been well documented and
have been the subject of a previous submission to this Committee
on the 27 March 2000.
7. Paragraph 24
Article 137(1) (e) and (f); we consider these
to interfere with the direct relationship of an employee and employer,
which are basic to Christian employment principles (Ephesians
8. Paragraph 27
We fully support that the primary responsibility
for social matters should remain within the Member States. It
would be unthinkable that the German Model of Industrial Relations
should be imposed on the UK business environment.
9. Paragraph 35
As indicated earlier we have a conscientious
objection to some of the existing competences therefore would
not wish them to be extended, especially those that are subject
to QMV (Qualified Majority Voting) as we feel that unanimity offers
more protection to Member States.
10. Paragraph 69
We do not agree with the role of the Social
Partners as defined in the Social Policy agreement, Article 2(4)
and Article 4 because this conflicts with our Christian commitment
to direct employer/employee relationships. In any case they do
not reflect current labour relations in the UK.
We urge the Government to have respect for Christian
tradition in the UK and do everything to limit the extension of
the Social Policy, especially into areas of small businesses.
Otherwise, employment opportunities in our businesses are going
to recede to the detriment of thousands of workers!
Bob Anderson, Charles Arnett, Keith Birch, Bruce
5 March 2003