Surrendering some sovereignty to Brussels is a price worth paying to ensure women's rights, Labour MP Harriet Harman has said.

The former Labour deputy leader said there could be a major rollback in workplace equality rights if Britain leaves the EU.

Equal pay, maternity leave and job security rights would all be targeted by employers and the Conservative Party in a post-Brexit Britain, Ms Harman maintained.

She said the EU has forced British governments to move forward on women's rights, and Brussels is now needed to guarantee these rights.

"Sometimes they need a good old directive from Brussels," Ms Harman said.

"And if it comes to the question between having to put up with being told by Brussels what to do with directives, or having no rights, I'd rather choose the directives."

The EU is every bit as woefully male-dominated as our own political institutions. But despite that, the historical fact is that the EU has led and strengthened our rights as women at work in this country. And we should never take that for granted. Faceless bureaucrats they may be, but the EU has been a strong friend to British women at work.

Harriet Harman