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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1, No 10 Session 2

Thursday 12 June 2003

 
 

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Europe: Nicola Sturgeon moved S2M-124—That the Parliament supports the European Union as a confederation that collectively exercises certain sovereign rights pooled by states but in which each state retains its own sovereignty in respect of constitutional, fiscal and other matters of national importance; believes that decisions about pooled and retained sovereignty should always be taken in Scotland’s national interest; therefore welcomes the development of a European constitution but opposes the conferral of exclusive European Union competence over the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy; considers that the terms of the final draft constitution should be subject to the approval of the Scottish people in a referendum prior to ratification; regrets that the decision by Her Majesty’s Government to delay entry to the single currency does not take account of Scotland’s economic interests, and believes that Scotland’s interests would best be represented in the European Union as an independent member state.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services (Tavish Scott) moved amendment S2M-124.4 to motion S2M-124—

Leave out from "supports" to end and insert—

"welcomes the many benefits that the European Union (EU) has delivered for Europe and for Scotland; continues to believe that the EU should seek to become more effective, efficient, democratic, transparent, accountable and easier to understand; notes the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe towards these objectives; further welcomes the submission to the convention of the proposals on Europe and the regions drawn up by the Scottish Executive in conjunction with Her Majesty’s Government and the Welsh Assembly Government; further notes with approval the references in the draft Constitutional Treaty under consideration in the convention to the role of the regions, and to mechanisms for consulting them; welcomes the intention of Her Majesty’s Government to involve the devolved administrations in the operation of the subsidiarity mechanism proposed by the convention, and calls on the Scottish Executive to continue to work with other sub-member state administrations and Her Majesty’s Government to ensure that Scottish interests are fully taken into account during the forthcoming Inter-Governmental Conference."

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-124.2 to motion S2M-124—

leave out from "confederation" to end and insert—

"partnership of nation states working together for the common interest; expresses concern at the clearly federalist objectives of the current proposals of the Convention on the Future of Europe; pledges to analyse the detail of these proposals as they affect devolved responsibilities and report back our objections to Her Majesty's Government along with our view that, given the conclusions drawn up by HM Treasury over the last six years on the United Kingdom entering the European single currency, there is no basis for the United Kingdom surrendering the pound for the euro and that further uncertainty on monetary union will be bad for Scottish interests, and urges Her Majesty's Government to hold an early referendum on both the Convention proposals and European monetary union."

Frances Curran moved amendment S2M-124.3 to motion S2M-124—

Leave out from "supports" to end and insert—

"believes in a socially just, democratic and accountable Europe for citizens and not big business; further believes that the structure of the current European Union undermines democracy within Scotland and that any further attempt to centralise political power in Brussels, or financial decisions at the European Central Bank in Stuttgart, would not be in the interest of ordinary Scots; is concerned that the economic agenda of European monetary union has the intention of furthering the aims of capitalist globalisation and the interests of trans global corporations, resulting in lower wages, cuts in public services and a wholesale onslaught against workers’ pensions; demands the right of the Scottish people to make their views known through a referendum; opposes entry to the euro, and calls on the Scottish Executive to offer to host the 2004 annual anti-globalisation event, the European Social Forum, involving up to 100,000 people, that has already taken place in Florence and will meet in Paris in November 2003."

After debate, amendment 124.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 61, Against 36, Abstentions 15). As a result amendments S2M-124.2 and S2M-124.3 were pre-empted.

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 36, Abstentions 16).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the many benefits that the European Union (EU) has delivered for Europe and for Scotland; continues to believe that the EU should seek to become more effective, efficient, democratic, transparent, accountable and easier to understand; notes the work of the Convention on the Future of Europe towards these objectives; further welcomes the submission to the convention of the proposals on Europe and the regions drawn up by the Scottish Executive in conjunction with Her Majesty’s Government and the Welsh Assembly Government; further notes with approval the references in the draft Constitutional Treaty under consideration in the convention to the role of the regions, and to mechanisms for consulting them; welcomes the intention of Her Majesty’s Government to involve the devolved administrations in the operation of the subsidiarity mechanism proposed by the convention, and calls on the Scottish Executive to continue to work with other sub-member state administrations and Her Majesty’s Government to ensure that Scottish interests are fully taken into account during the forthcoming Inter-Governmental Conference."

2. Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister and other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

3. Investing in Public Transport: The Minister for Transport (Nicol Stepehen) moved S2M-130—That the Parliament welcomes the proposals set out in A Partnership for a Better Scotland for a reliable, safe, efficient and sustainable transport system to connect Scotland and encourage economic growth; recognises the importance that the Scottish Executive attaches to delivering improved public transport services by increasing investment and establishing a strategic authority, and recognises that the public transport system must serve the environmental, health and educational needs of people of Scotland.

Mr Kenny MacAskill moved amendment S2M-130.3 to motion S2M-130—

Insert at end—

"notes that the delivery of tangible improvements within defined timescales is essential; recognises, furthermore, that in order to achieve these an integrated and inter-modal public transport network is required, and therefore calls for the transfer of the legislative and financial powers to the Parliament that are necessary to address fully rail and aviation services in addition to bus and ferry services in order to ensure the delivery of the network sought."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 82, Abstentions 1).

David Mundell moved amendment S2M-130.1 to motion S2M-130—

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"believes that only a fully costed programme of investment in transport infrastructure with detailed start and completion dates, rather than platitudes, will deliver the improvements to public transport that the travelling public and Scottish business so desperately need and calls on the Scottish Executive to present such a programme to the Parliament forthwith."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 22, Against 66, Abstentions 26).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 89, Against 26, Abstentions 1).

4. Deputy Convener of Subordinate Legislation Committee: Patricia Ferguson moved, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, S2M-127—That the Parliament agrees that the Deputy Convener of the Subordinate Legislation Committee be appointed from the Labour Party.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

5. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1,3 and 4 as noted above.

6. Closure of Animal Welfare Centres: The Parliament debated S2M-0034 in the name of Shona Robison—That the Parliament is concerned about the possible closure of at least seven of the 13 animal welfare centres across Scotland owing to financial difficulties being experienced by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA); believes that this would be detrimental to animal welfare; notes with relief that the SSPCA board of management has postponed making a final decision on the closures of the centres for a further six months, and considers that the Scottish Executive should hold urgent discussions with the SSPCA to try to find a way of keeping the animal welfare centres open.

The meeting closed at 6.01 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

12 June 2003

Appendix

(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

 

 

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instruments were laid in draft before the Parliament on 12 June 2003 for approval by resolution—

The Budget (Scotland) Act 2003 Amendment Order 2003

laid under the Budget (Scotland) Act 2003

The Landfill (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003

laid under the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 12 June 2003 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scotland’s Budget Documents: The 2003-04 Summer Budget Revision to the Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Act for the year ending 31 March 2004 (SE/2003/76)


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