Something funny happened this weekend. Lots of right-ish Tories, some of them self-professed libertarians, started saying they wanted Britain to be more like Switzerland.
David Cameron’s veto means that Britain can be more like Switzerland, cheered Tory MP Mark Reckless. Howard Flight wants to see Britain as a large Switzerland. If only Britain could become a “super Switzerland”, wailed Tory parliamentary researcher Anthony Pickles. On news programmes, blogs and Twitter, anti-EU types proclaimed that Switzerland is the new model for Britain.
So let me just get this right. They want:
- Full employment protection after three months service, instead of the UK’s one year, (soon to be extended to two).
- An employment law regime where, according to the Federation of European Employers, “dismissal is normally only lawful for either gross misconduct or serious economic reasons.”
- A ban on ‘non-essential’ Sunday and night work, requiring employers to apply for a special permit.
- A maximum 45-hour working week, as opposed to the current EU 48-hour week which the government wants to ditch.
As far as I’m aware, even the Labour Party isn’t proposing anything like this.
The libertarian right just ain’t what it used to be.