Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, for more than nine years, I have had the great privilege of representing Scotland here in this Parliament, during which time we have had many a debate on the future shape of Europe and we have welcomed 12 new Member States to the top table. This massive expansion of the internal market and other areas of cooperation is good for Scotland and good for Europe as a whole. But, also in the past nine years, we have had to agonise over so-called crises, such as the resignation of the Santer Commission and the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty. It is a great pity and a frustration that many of the positives which EU membership entails have been tempered by such self-inflicted negatives. In Scotland, we move on too. We have a new
Government – an SNP Government, which is pro-European and which has a vision for a new future for Scotland in Europe. Prime Minister, I want to see Scottish Ministers sitting alongside your Ministers in the Council, not in the second row. Scotland has much to contribute to the European Union and its development: a constructive attitude and a wealth of energy resources to name but two. I look forward to a day when Scotland is welcomed as an independent Member State of this Union. Such a change, I think, would not just be good for Scotland but good for the future of Europe too.

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