SNP MEP votes "No" to European Constitution

12 January 2005
"The Parliament has not reflected the will of the peoples of Europe"

SNP MEP Alyn Smith today voted against the European Parliament's report on the Constitution for Europe. After failing to secure changes to the Constitution on fishing and relations with the Scottish Parliament, Alyn Smith and his SNP colleague Ian Hudghton voted to renegotiate the constitution.

Alyn Smith had yesterday called on the Parliament to renegotiate the Constitution after it failed to recognise the "dignity of Scotland".

Following today's vote he condemned Scots Labour, Tory and Lib Dem MEPs for failing to even take part in the debate. The only two to speak, out of the seven Scottish MEPs, were the SNP duo.

Speaking after the vote today he said:

"The Scottish Parliament is the only body responsible for Justice, the Environment, Education, Health and many other areas of Scottish life, yet the provisions in the treaty to bring it into the EU law making process are wholly inadequate.

"This constitution will not sufficiently improve EU law making for Scotland. More to the point this constitution does not take account of the dignity of my country and we will therefore vote against.

"Today's vote will delight the pro-integrationists in Europe, though I do not believe the Parliament has reflected the will of the peoples of Europe. It is a sair fecht which will set the Constitution up for an even heavier fall when it is rejected by the people in a referendum."

The Parliament's report on the European Constitution was passed by 500 votes to 137 with 40 abstentions.