Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - This report on the detailed preparation for EU membership by the 10 new Member States who will join on 1 May has once again deservedly attracted widespread support in principle in this House. It is interesting to note that the UK Unionist
Parties are so enthusiastic about EU enlargement and keen to welcome on board these new Member States, many of whom are small, like Scotland, and in many cases have recently regained their independence. A contradictory approach is taken by these Unionist Parties at home, where Scotland is deemed, by them, to be too small, too poor and too weak to be able to exercise the normal rights and powers of independence. It is clear that Ireland, for example, has prospered as an independent EU Member State and it is fitting that in its role as EU presidency, Ireland will preside over this, the largest ever single enlargement of the EU. I have no doubt that Scotland too would be better off independent rather than being misrepresented and betrayed on a regular basis by UK ministers in the Council.