Shane Greer eloquently explains that if he wants to work more than 48 hours a week, no diktat from Europe is going to stop him (as if I would ever make him. Perish the thought). Of course employees deserve to be protected by unscrupulous employers, but this is something for national governments to regulate, not the European Commission. John Major fought hard to win this opt out. Even many Labour MPs acknowledge that Britain should retain it.
If British workers want to work overtime, it is a matter for them. As Shane says...
I’ve never actually understood the reasoning behind the directive. Why should someone be restricted from working the hours they want to, or indeed need to? Looking at my own work for example the fact is that if I were restricted to working 48 hours a week the job simply wouldn’t get done. Does that annoy me? No. I enjoy my job. Who are they to say I have restrict the time I spend doing something I love? And even if I were forced by circumstance to work more than 48 hours, who are they to say I have to take a cut in the pay I need?
Long live the opt-out.