SNP trade union activists have submitted a resolution to the party’s conference hitting out at the UK Government’s plan to impose freeports in Scotland.

The move comes days after it emerged Boris Johnson’s administration wants to push ahead with introducing the centres despite opposition from Scottish ministers.

Freeports are government-designated areas, usually around a shipping port or airport, where arriving goods are exempt from tax charges. Payments are only required if they leave the ports in an attempt to encourage economic activity in the trading area.

Ministers in Holyrood have proposed a “greenport” approach north of the Border, calling for businesses in the ports to pay the real living wage and help the net-zero transition.

The motion submitted to the SNP conference, which will take place virtually in September, raises concerns that the proposals by the UK Government are a part of the agenda to undermine devolution.

It also points out that freeports have been a haven for criminality, such a money laundering and people trafficking and that they allow those operating within them to erode workers’ pay and conditions.

READ MORE: UK Government to sideline Scottish Parliament and bring in freeports

The motion goes on to call for all businesses operating within the zone to pay the real living wage as a minimum, as well as abiding by fair work practices, for trade union recognition to be mandatory and for all businesses operating within the zone to assist the Scottish Government in achieving its “ambitious” net-zero targets.

Tory ministers think the Scottish Government model “undermines the freeport brand” and has accused them of “irresponsible nationalism”. They say they would encourage direct bids from Scotland’s port authorities, in a move which would spark a major constitutional argument. UK ministers say the freeport title must be used, and talks between the sides have stalled.