FACTCHECK: Did the Scottish Labour Executive ‘block’ a vote on the single market?
Controversy erupted last night after a news report from STV Journalist Aidan Kerr suggested that the Scottish Labour Executive Committee (or SEC) had blocked a motion endorsing Single Market membership at conference.
The truth is a little more boring. The SEC can submit executive motions to conference. Yesterday the SEC agreed an executive motion on Brexit backing the official party position of retaining Customs Union membership and pursuing tariff-free trade with the EU.
All motions pertaining to Brexit will be brought to the floor, seconded and debated. This includes the motion endorsing single market membership. However, the executive motion is voted on first, and if it’s accepted by conference, then the vote on the other two motions does not go ahead as conference has already adopted a position. The inverse is also true - if it were rejected, the vote on the single market motion would go ahead. Conference votes function like this in order to prevent the party adopting multiple contradictory positions. The votes and debate on Brexit will take place on Sunday.
A senior Scottish Labour insider said: “Everything is being debated, and the way the vote is happening is perfectly standard Labour Party and labour movement practice. If you vote for X, everything that isn’t X falls. This is nothing new.”