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Leaked papers show STUC's concerns over Westminster's attempts to weaken devolution

PAPERS leaked ahead of next month’s Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) have revealed the movement’s concerns over the Westminster government’s attempts to weaken devolution in Scotland. 

Reports today claimed the STUC believed that Westminster’s plans to increase direct spending in Scotland’s devolved policy areas will have a negative affect on workers. 

The document, leaked to the Sunday National, is part of a strategy paper which has been prepared for the STUC’s annual meeting on November 17, being held online. 

The report says: “Public services desperately require more funding, but the intention of the UK government to increase direct spending in Scotland in areas of devolved competency is a clear attempt to weaken the devolution settlement.

“We will oppose any moves which reduce the powers of the Parliament as well as campaigning for the extension of devolution in agreed areas such as employment law, equalities and aspects of immigration.”

Concerns are also raised about the “overriding” of state aid, procurement, environmental protection and food standards powers.

The leaked document also underlined the trade union movement’s views on self-determination in Scotland following next year’s election.

It said that the STUC believed if “there is evidence of a majority in support of independence” and if the new 2021 parliament holds a majority of members in favour of a second referendum, then the case for a second vote would be “unanswerable.”

The document adds: “While it is difficult at this point to imagine the trade union movement in Scotland emerging with a consensus for a particular option in a future referendum, we will engage actively in the constitutional debate based on the interests of working-class people.”

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