Scotland's largest union has backed calls for a second independence referendum.

UNISON Scotland today voted overwhelmingly to support the staging of indyref2 at a time determined by the Scottish Parliament.

The motion passed dictates the union supports the call by means of 'either a section 20 order or an amendment to the Scotland Act as a satifactory means of transferring the power over independence referndums'.

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Speaking at UNISON's Scottish Council meeting in Glasgow, the union's Scottish convenor Lilian Macer said: "This is no way pre-determines the views our members may take in the event of an independence referendum, but they should have the opportunity to express their views.

"UNISON Scotland will take this decision into the wider trade union movement and, together with the Jimmy Reid Foundation, we will promote the debate at the forthcoming STUC congress in April 2020. 

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"UNISON Scotland defends public services and those who deliver them and it is imperative that we explore the full range of options available to the people of Scotland."

The SNP has welcomed the news, which comes just days after the Scottish Parliament voted to hold an independence referendum this year.

Unison's decision follows a similar call by Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Graeme Smith, and cross-party voices including senior Labour MSPs and MPs who have called for the Scottish Parliament to have the power to hold an independence referendum.

Commenting, Keith Brown MSP said: “There is now an unstoppable momentum behind a fresh independence referendum.

“Scotland voted overwhelmingly to reject Brexit but we have been dragged out of the EU against our will by a Tory government with no mandate here. The people of Scotland must have a choice over our future - so we can remain at the heart of Europe as an equal and independent country.

”Unison, Scotland’s biggest trade union, is the latest respected body to support a transfer of powers so the Scottish Parliament can hold a fresh referendum at a time of its choosing. The democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine our own future cannot be ignored by Westminster.

“And the Constitutional convention announced by the First Minister on Friday will provide an opportunity for organisations such as Scotland’s Trade Unions to come together with elected politicians around that democratic right.

“The SNP won a landslide victory at the general election on a cast-iron mandate to hold an independence referendum. The more Boris Johnson tries to ignore Scotland’s democratic mandate to choose our own future the more support for independence will continue to grow.”