SNP Challenge Straw On Future Of EU Constitution

09 February 2006
Following the ratification of the EU Constitution by Belgium ScottishNational Party Europe Spokesman Alyn Smith has today written to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw calling on him to clarify the UK's position on the future of the EU Constitutional Treaty and what role Scotland will have in that decision.

The Flemish Parliament had its own vote on the Constitution andBelgium could not ratify without Flemish approval. The ScottishParliament at present would have no role in deciding the UK positionon the Constitution. The Flemish vote brings the total number ofcountries backing the Constitution to fourteen.

Speaking today Mr Smith said

"The actions of the Flemish and the Belgians show the Constitution isnot as dead as many would like to think. The current EU presidencyis talking of reviving it and the new German Chancellor wants to seeparts of it reintroduced.

"The role of the Flemish Parliament is in stark contrast to the waythe Scottish Parliament will be left out of any UK decision. TheScottish Parliament is responsible for implementing the majority ofEU legislation in Scotland, but is not allowed a say in possible changes to the way that legislation is made.

"If the Constitutional Treaty is to continue then it is vitallyimportant that the position of Scotland is clear and that the London government is clear what position it is taking. The UK must not sit back and ignore the issues but rather take a key role in the debateand ensures Scottish interests are represented.

"I have called on Jack Straw to tell me exactly where the UK standson reviving the constitution and to ensure that no decision is madewithout the full support of the Scottish Parliament, as well as thesupport of the Scottish people."