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Parliament asked to withhold Bill consent

Published: 9 Dec 2015 09:57

Scottish Government seeks devolution of industrial relations.

A Legislative Consent Memorandum which asks the Scottish Parliament to withhold consent from the UK Government's Trade Union Bill has been submitted by Ministers.

The move was confirmed by Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham who has also highlighted the lack of support in Scotland for the Bill and the negative impact it will have on public authorities, trade unions and the delivery of public services.

The Scottish Government is clear that the bill will have an impact on devolved functions and believes that legislative consent should be required. The UK Government has maintained that the subject of the bill is entirely reserved.

Commenting on the LCM, Ms Cunningham, who has previously asked for Scotland to be removed from the territorial extent of the Bill and for the UK Government to devolve industrial relations said:

"Last month's Scottish parliamentary debate on the Trade Union Bill confirmed that there is clear opposition to this draft legislation in Scotland.

"There is little or no evidence to support its proposals and the UK Government has made no attempt to consider the Bill impacts in Scotland and in particular on our public services. Our requests to be excluded from the Bill have also been ignored.

"Key stakeholders including NHS Scotland and many local authorities have made their opposition very clear and I am deeply concerned over the wider impact of the Bill on all Scotland's devolved public authorities.

"There is a clear case for Scotland to be removed from the Bill or, at the very least, for the regulation-making powers to be confirmed as within the devolved competence of Scottish Ministers.

"While the UK Government maintain that the bill is reserved, we have asked the Parliamentary authorities to consider a Legislative Consent Memorandum asking the Scottish Parliament to withhold its consent for the Bill.

"I hope that the requirement for legislative consent will be accepted by the Parliament, but if that is not the case we will ensure that the Parliament has the opportunity to consider a general memorandum and express its opposition to the Bill."