Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - In the wake of the breakdown of IGC negotiations on the proposed draft Constitution of the European Union, I welcome the breathing space which will result. I urge the UK Government to make maximum use of this interval to review its position on key areas of concern to Scotland. The reference to marine biological resource conservation must be removed from the list of exclusive competences. Furthermore, assurances are still required in relation to the protection of Scotland's offshore oil and gas reserves and the need to ensure that control and licensing powers are not conferred upon the EU. The example set by many small nations, independently negotiating their own terms and conditions at the IGC, underlines the need for Scotland to regain her independence and therefore the full rights of participation and voting in all international negotiations.

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