STUC General Council affirms support for a ‘in’ vote in EU referendum but lays down challenges for political parties

April 15th 2016

“The recent experience of our members of the workings of the European Union has been mixed to say the least. EU-wide austerity and the behaviour of key institutions during the debt crisis, some poor ECJ judgments undermining workers’ rights and the approach to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are all matters of enormous concern. Far too much of this debate has been captured by the right wing, trading petty prejudices at the expense of a proper discourse.

“But giving up membership offers no prospect of less austerity in the UK, better workers right or transparent trade deals that prioritise the interest of people over large companies. The current Westminster Government are enthusiastically to the right of mainstream European thought on social and economic policy and their current attack on trade unions which breaches ECHR rights provides a blue-print for their vision of industrial relations following Brexit. We stand to lose economically, on jobs and on workers’ rights but gain nothing in terms of better policy.

“Despite the many frustrations of EU membership, key issues such as international tax reform, environmental regulation and an adequate response to the refugee crisis can best be addressed internationally and Europe has a major role to play.

“The STUC is pleased that, for the most part, the debate in Scotland has focussed on a positive vision for Europe in the future and not narrow UK nationalism. However it is incumbent on politicians in Scotland to make clear their intention to play an active and critical role in EU politics.

“Our A Just Europe approach, similar to our position on the Scottish Referendum outlines our intention that the debate must shift towards rediscovering Europe’s social purpose and challenges all political parties and the next Scottish Government to stand up for public ownership and workers’ rights within Europe. This must include a far more challenging approach to public procurement, no more hiding behind Europe on the Living Wage and an outright commitment to oppose TTIP.”

ENDS

Contact Helen Martin 01413378100

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