I thank you for all your support | Lord Selborne

Thanks to all of you who tuned in today, today has been truly an incredible journey. What a way to get to the end of the trial. To conclude this chapter of the story means this trial is on to the next one.

Thank you to all the people who supported me throughout this very difficult time. I’ve also been overwhelmed by your support of a cause close to your heart – the protection of workers’ rights.

The legal process is really a snapshot of human dignity under attack. What the court has done is to let people know how legally flawed the British and EU labour system is. Too often companies hide their business practices, including low-wages, insecure contracts and unemployment. In the old days this might have gone unnoticed because firms were concerned that if they were known to have such arrangements they might not get their contracts renewed. In the 21st century this exploitation can no longer be taken lightly.

Even when firms do come clean and acknowledge their exploitation, it is often the victims who suffer because they have no way of recovering their legal losses.

However, the true power of a vigorous law and, above all, a vigorous public will stem from you. Whatever part you play, today should be a note to all of us who work in manufacturing: you have the power to make a difference. Today there were tens of thousands of industrial relations lawyers watching this case. This trial is a prime example of why we should take industrial relations very seriously and why you can make a real difference – if we work together.

In closing, one thing I will say that I hope will help. I’ll say this right here, because it’s a theme of the whole trial and I’m sure it will come to you as part of the feedback. That is that, while a lot of people came to court today and expected this and they also got a good story to tell and a good argument to have, this prosecution is not about me, it’s about a well-funded organisation and an incredible case that they have won on the basis of this website and the amount of information they are able to get from it. We had about 40,000 emails during the course of the trial. With reference to the arguments you heard today, but also more broadly about business, on free speech and what we have to expect from society – that I think is very important.

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