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Boost for Leave campaign as Nipsa union backs pull-out from 'rich man's club' EU

By David Young

Published 04/06/2016

The largest public sector union in Northern Ireland yesterday threw its weight behind the Brexit campaign.

A resolution calling for the UK to leave the EU was passed at the Nipsa (Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance) annual conference, being held this year in Enniskillen.

The resolution "calls for a UK exit from the EU because it remains a club for the rich and provides no meaningful assistance to workers".

The pro-Brexit motion claimed the EU was responsible for implementing pro-austerity policies, undermining employment rights, and is "engaged in diplomatic and military manoeuvres that are destabilising other regions".

Nipsa sources were unable to confirm last night whether the pro-Brexit motion would be discussed by the new incoming executive of the union before the referendum, which takes place on June 23.

The new union executive came into being immediately following the end of the conference.

Last night Brexit campaigners welcomed the support from Nipsa trade unionists. Lee Reynolds, regional director for Vote Leave, said: "The Vote Leave campaign in Northern Ireland wholeheartedly welcomes the decision by Nipsa members to support campaigning for a Leave vote.

"It is no surprise that those working in the public sector can identify the benefits from gaining control back of our money and spending it on our priorities, like health.

"It also shows the broad range of people and organisations that can see the EU for the failure it is. We call upon the Nipsa executive to act on this conference decision at once and work with the likes of Labour Leave and Trade Unionists Against the EU to secure a Leave vote on June 23."

Nipsa general secretary Alison Millar did not respond to a request for comment.

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