LABOUR want to use power coming from Brussels to Britain after Brexit to stop Scots workers clocking up more than 48 hours at the office a week.

As part of the EU, the UK has already signed up to the Working Time Directive, though it currently has an opt out to allow employees to choose to work longer than 48 hours if they so wish.

Launching their industrial strategy in Edinburgh yesterday, the party said they would use health-and-safety laws repatriated after Brexit, if devolved to Scotland, to scrap the opt-out.

Speaking on a visit to Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems in Edinburgh, the party’s economy spokeswoman Jackie Baillie, right, said: “There are opportunities that come from Brexit, that is the return of certain regulations and powers to the UK.

“We would like to see, in the context of the economy changing anyway — automation is a thing, flexible working is increasing — we want to make sure that we get a good work-life balance for people but we also address the needs of the economy, and with automation the nature of work will change.

“We need to embrace that change, so we want to open a dialogue with businesses to talk about opportunities there that Brexit will provide and the EU working time directive is one of them.”

Labour said adopting the measures contained in the strategy could boost gross domestic product GDP by almost £45 billion.

The party also called for dedicated ministers for innovation and cities, a new UK regional policy to replace that of the EU after Brexit, a real living wage of £10-an-hour and a ban on zero-hour contracts. SNP MSP Ivan McKee was dismissive of the plans.

“Scotland’s economy has just posted growth figures four times the UK level while unemployment is at record low levels and we remain a top destination for foreign investment, all of which Labour fail to recognise,” he said.

“The SNP will work with anyone to support growth in our economy, better jobs and new opportunities but on STEM, financial technology, a modern manufacturing sector and the importance of regional investment, Labour are simply playing catch up,” McKee added.

Andy Wightman from the Scottish Greens said Labour’s position on Brexit was doing little to properly help Scotland’s industry.

“It’s also a bit rich of Labour to warn of uncertainty caused by Brexit when their MPs last week failed to support moves to keep us in the single market. And we should remember that they stood in the way of employment law being devolved to Scotland during the Smith Commission negotiations.”

Labour, Wightman added, “lack vision”.