Members of the trade union Unison have voted in support of a second independence referendum.

Scottish convener Lilian Macer said the body representing public service workers had backed calls for another vote, at a time to be decided by the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking after a meeting in Glasgow, Macer said: "This in 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 motion put to members stated that Unison "supports the call for a second referendum, at a time to be determined by the Scottish Parliament, by means of either a section 30 order or an amendment to the Scotland Act as a satisfactory means of transferring the power over independence referendums."

On Thursday MSPs voted in favour of a motion calling for a second referendum.

The Scottish Greens welcomed Unison's endorsement, describing it as a "totemic moment" for the independence movement.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie MSP said: "Unison, Scotland's largest trade union, represents members of different party political persuasions, but its decision today to back an independence referendum, at a time to be determined by the Scottish Parliament, recognises the democratic deficit that we currently face.

"This can only be resolved by putting the question of Scotland's future back to the people."

SNP MSP Keith Brown 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.”

Questioned on Scottish Labour's reaction to Unison's decision, the party's constitution spokesman Alex Rowley MSP said: "Polling this week has shown that the Scottish people do not support the holding of another referendum at this time, especially with the Brexit process still far from resolved.

"Protecting Scotland's interests in this process is of paramount importance.

"We understand that 10 years of austerity and five more years of Boris Johnson does lead to further despair, but the creation of a separate Scottish state will not resolve the underlying economic issues."