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Trade Union Bill

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 26th January 2016.

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Photo of Neil Findlay Neil Findlay Labour

No. The cabinet secretary is right to work with us on that; I am just a bit disappointed that Mr Stewart appears not to want to go down that route.

My colleague Mary Fee has submitted a proposal, like the one that I outlined, to the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. If there is political will, that proposal could move through our parliamentary system very quickly and allow us to have such a debate and reject the bill’s impact on Scotland before the Scottish election.

I am absolutely ready to sit down with the cabinet secretary, as are my colleagues—we can do it tonight, if she wants—to discuss how we move forward as quickly as possible. I extend that invitation to any member of this Parliament who wants to speak to us, even members of the Conservative Party, if—God forbid—they should accept the amendment. We want to take a practical step.

Today, the Welsh Assembly is debating an LCM on the Trade Union Bill, and the Labour Government there has said that it will take action to reverse the effect of the legislation. That shows that the issue is all about political will.

If there is no movement with regard to what we propose, the Labour Party, working with the Scottish trade unions, will pursue every option, including, if necessary, a legal challenge. However, it would be quicker, cheaper and better if we did not need to go down that route.

I welcome the Government’s support for our amendment. I hope that all members of the Parliament will support it at decision time this evening.

I move amendment S4M.15414.1, to insert at end:

“; further understands that the National Assembly for Wales will debate a legislative consent motion on this Bill and its impact on Wales and Welsh devolved public services on 26 January 2016, and calls on all parties represented in the Scottish Parliament to support the proposal from Mary Fee MSP to amend the Standing Orders to allow a similar process to take place here”.