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Leading trade union NIPSA votes to back Brexit

One of the largest trade unions in Northern Ireland has thrown its weight behind the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.

Members of NIPSA voted by a narrow majority on Friday at their annual conference at the Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen to back Brexit - the campaign for Britain to leave the EU.

The full motion noted that the EU membership referendum - due to take place across the UK on Thursday June 23 - gives NIPSA an "excellent opportunity to engage in a public discussion about the future for public services, workers' rights and our society".

It continued: "NIPSA notes that the big pro and anti EU campaigns represent the various wings of pro austerity big business and that both campaigns rely on jingoism, fear and bigotry to force people to vote. Conference believes that NIPSA and the wider trade union movement must develop an independent campaign that promotes real and meaningful discussion and calls for a UK exit from the EU because it remains a club for the rich and provides no meaningful assistance to workers".

The motion concluded: "Conference notes that the EU: Implements pro austerity economic policies; Advances anti public service policies such as TTIP; Has introduced anti-worker policies that have undermined hard earned terms and conditions of employment and employment rights; Is engaged in diplomatic and military manoeuvres that are destabilising other regions. Conference therefore calls on the incoming General Council to campaign for exit from the EU and for building a movement to defend working class interests."

The vote among delegates by a show of hands was counted as 68 for, 58 against and with five abstentions.

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