THE Scottish Trades Union Congress is facing a Brexit-fuelled row at its annual conference.

Union leaders are set to clash over claims that single market membership would prevent rail nationalisation.

The STUC has campaigned for the UK to remain in the single market after it leaves the EU. However, at its annual conference later this month, the organisation is facing a bitter row over the issue.

Britain's biggest rail union, the RMT, is set to force a vote on claims that single market membership would stop rail being renationalised.

The union claims that the rules of the European trading bloc insist that the running of rail services must be open to competitive bidding involving private firms.

Single market membership will "weaken and prevent a policy of nationalising our railways, including requiring the tendering of rail passenger services, on top of other liberalisation requirements already in place, such as rail freight being open to competition," the motion to conference says.

However, another rail union, the TSSA is poised to vote against the RMT over the single market policy. The call will also be opposed by unions such as the GMB

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith dismissed the RMT's claim that single market membership would prevent nationalisation.

He said: "We don't buy this claim as we're still going to have WTO [World Trade Organisaton] rules and it looks like there will be an agreement with the EU so there'll be restrictions on what we do.

"The idea that it will lead to a place where it will be easier for the state to intervene is naive in the extreme."

Smith also restated his call for a referendum to be held on the final terms of the Brexit deal and that leaving the deal would cost jobs.

The STUC annual congress is taking place in Aviemore from 16-18 April. A number of unions have submitted motions raising concerns about the impact of Brexit on jobs and the right of EU citizens to remain in the UK.

The GMB has lodged a resolution that claims jobs are at risk in the Scotch whisky industry.

In a separate motion, the University and Colleges Union states: "Freedom of movement is an important principle, and should not be lost when the UK departs the EU, and that Scotland benefits from the contribution of people, not just from the EU, but from across the globe who come here to live, work and study."

Clashes at the STUC could mirror those within Labour over the Brexit.

The UK and Scottish Labour leaders have backed a permanent customs union with the EU after leaving.

However, figures such as former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale have called for full membership of the single market.