European Constitution "Does not recognise Scotland's Dignity"

11 January 2005
"Only SNP MEPs speak in Parliament Constitution debate"

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today told the European Parliament that he will vote against the Parliament's report on the European Constitution. He and his SNP colleague Ian Hudghton were the only two Scottish MEPs out of seven who spoke in the debate.

Mr Smith said he would vote against the constitution as it failed to recognise the dignity of Scotland. He said:

"There are some things to admire in this constitution, but much to dislike and my party has on balance decided that we cannot recommend it to the people of Scotland"

"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.

"We've seen in fisheries the disastrous results that follow when EU law is inadequately sensitive to reality on the ground. 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."

Speaking after the debate Mr Smith condemned Scotland's other political parties for staying silent on the constitution.

"The only Scots MEPs speaking today were myself and my SNP colleague Ian Hudgton. The other MEPs claim to be sticking up for Scotland's interests but they had nothing to say on a crucial issue for Scotland. This just shows that the only party that can be trusted to stick up for Scotland are the SNP."