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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 Mark McDonald Mark McDonald Scottish National Party

First, we will see whether Mr Corbyn is prime minister after 2020 and, secondly, we will see whether he keeps to his word in that respect.

Mr Findlay and his colleagues have spoken about the legislative consent motion, and we will accept the Labour amendment at decision time. However, until the UK Government changes its position around the requirement for legislative consent, the passing of an LCM will have no meaningful effect. The legislation can still be passed at Westminster and the parliamentary supremacy that Westminster commands means that a challenge to legislation that it has passed is almost certain to fail.

No amount of hand wringing can deflect from the fact that the Labour Party, in the Smith commission and during the debate on the Scotland Bill following it, argued to leave employment law and trade union law in the hands of the Conservative Party at Westminster. Labour rejected the proposal by my colleagues at Westminster to devolve employment rights. I heard the argument that union movement solidarity transcends national borders. However, as my colleague Clare Adamson pointed out, the bill will not affect unions in Northern Ireland, because the decision has already been taken to devolve those matters to Northern Ireland. The simple and clear fact is that the Trade Union Bill is not an example of better together; it is an example of suffer together.