STUC urges UK Government to reach agreement with Scottish Government on Brexit
Today, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, has written to the Prime Minister to warn that restricting the Scottish Parliament’s powers for seven years post Brexit is inconsistent with the will of the Scottish people and the devolution settlement.
“It is essential that agreement is reached, not only to respect our devolved institutions but also to ensure the effective operation of the UK’s unitary market. The reality of Brexit will be shaped by the decisions taken now about where power lies, how it is shared, and how it is used. We all have a stake in these decisions and our institutions and democratic processes must allow the people to be heard.
“Arrangements that allow the UK Government to legislate on areas of devolved competence, without the agreement of the Parliament elected by the Scottish people to serve their interests, is simply not acceptable.
“The Prime Minister must set aside her centralising tendencies and recognise that the principle of devolution demands that she reach an agreement with the Scottish Government that respects our devolved institutions.
“The decisions being taken on the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Trade Bill, and the Customs Bill will have significant consequences for the 560,000 working people and their families that the STUC represents.”
Notes to editors:
Grahame Smith’s comments come after the Scottish Parliament decided not to give its consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill due to its impact on the devolution settlement.
The STUC passed a motion at its 121st Annual Congress in Aviemore in April 2018, committing itself to campaign for the specific consent of all devolved institutions before the UK Government signs any withdrawal agreement. The motion, proposed by the Royal College of Midwives, raises specific concerns around the prospect of losing hard won rights and protections for working people, particularly pregnant women. The RCM reminded Congress that Lord Callanan, The Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, told MEPs in 2012 that Brexit provided an opportunity to scrap the Working Time Directive, the Agency Workers Directive, the Pregnant Workers’ Directive and “all the other barriers to actually employing people”.