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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 1, No 70 Session 2

Thursday 29 April 2004

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. European Constitution: Nicola Sturgeon moved S2M-1218—That the Parliament calls on Her Majesty's Government to negotiate out of the draft EU Constitution the clause stipulating that the European Union shall have exclusive competence over the conservation of marine biological resources under the common fisheries policy, and ensure that the final draft of the Constitution is not detrimental to Scottish interests.

The Minister for Finance and Public Services (Mr Andy Kerr) moved amendment S2M-1218.4 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from "negotiate" to end and insert—

"agree a Treaty that, in the context of an enlarging Union, is clearer and simpler than the existing treaties, to bring the European Union closer to the citizens of Europe; notes that the current draft Treaty simply makes explicit the European Community's exclusive competence over marine conservation as set out in the United Kingdom's Treaty of Accession, as part of the Common Fisheries Policy, which both Her Majesty's Government and the Scottish Executive are committed to reform to deliver effective regional management of, and a sustainable future for, Scotland's fishing industry; notes that the text makes reference for the first time to the role of sub-national parliaments and offers enhanced scope for collaboration to tackle international crime and the threat of terrorism, and welcomes the benefits to Scotland of EU membership, including economic prosperity, trade, environmental and consumer protection and citizens' and workers' rights."

Phil Gallie moved amendment S2M-1218.1 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from "calls on" to end and insert—

"recognises that the only way to ensure a sustainable future for the Scottish fishing industry is to restore national and local control of Scottish waters by negotiating withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy and calls on Her Majesty's Government to hold the referendum on the EU Constitution following final agreement of its terms to give our people the opportunity to reject this centralising constitution and help to shape a new, flexible Europe of nation states working in partnership."

Robin Harper moved amendment S2M-1218.3 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from "calls on" to end and insert—

"recognises that management of fisheries, as a shared resource in the seas around Europe, transcends national boundaries; condemns the long history of Common Fisheries Policy management driven by political rather than scientific considerations; recognises that such political management has led to the current plight of fish stocks and fishing communities; agrees that the newly-reformed Common Fisheries Policy offers a brighter future given the proposals for conservation of stocks based on scientific analysis combined with fishermen's expertise to agree sustainable managements on a regional basis, and calls on the Scottish Executive and Her Majesty's Government not to abandon the goal of sustainable management of fisheries and to engage actively in negotiations to ensure that the final draft of the Constitution is not detrimental to Scottish interests on fisheries, renewable energy and other matters."

Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-1218.2 to motion S2M-1218—

Leave out from "negotiate" to end and insert—

"recognise that the European Constitution makes fundamental changes to the structures of the European Union that will further erode local and national democracy, strengthen the grip of the largest and wealthiest nation states of Europe at the expense of the smaller nations and stateless nations, undermine public services in Scotland by opening the door to wholesale privatisation, jeopardise the existence of our fishing industry by engraving in stone the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy, transfer powers over energy to the EU which in turn can be used to block any future moves to bring our oil, gas, and electricity industries into public ownership, lead to a further militarisation of the European continent and give carte blanche to large multi-national states such as Spain and the United Kingdom to deny minority nations within these states the right to genuine self-determination, and, in the light of the damage that this constitution will do to Scotland's present and future interests and given that opposition to the proposed constitution is even stronger in Scotland than the rest of the UK, calls on Her Majesty's Government to call a separate referendum for Scotland."

After debate, amendment S2M-1218.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 54, Abstentions 0). As a result amendment S2M-1218.2 was pre-empted.

After debate, amendment S2M-1218.1 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 97, Abstentions 4).

After debate, amendment S2M-1218.3 was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 7, Against 111, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 48, Abstentions 6).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament calls on Her Majesty's Government to agree a Treaty that, in the context of an enlarging Union, is clearer and simpler than the existing treaties, to bring the European Union closer to the citizens of Europe; notes that the current draft Treaty simply makes explicit the European Community's exclusive competence over marine conservation as set out in the United Kingdom's Treaty of Accession, as part of the Common Fisheries Policy, which both Her Majesty's Government and the Scottish Executive are committed to reform to deliver effective regional management of, and a sustainable future for, Scotland's fishing industry; notes that the text makes reference for the first time to the role of sub-national parliaments and offers enhanced scope for collaboration to tackle international crime and the threat of terrorism, and welcomes the benefits to Scotland of EU membership, including economic prosperity, trade, environmental and consumer protection and citizens' and workers' rights.

2. First Minister's Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).

3. Question Time: Questions were answered by the Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie); by the Minister for Health and Community Care (Malcolm Chisholm); and by other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

4. Reducing Reoffending – Improving the Effectiveness of Custodial and Non-Custodial Sentences: The Minister for Justice (Cathy Jamieson) moved S2M-1219—That the Parliament notes the publication of Reduce, Rehabilitate, Reform – A Consultation on Reducing Reoffending in Scotland and recognises the need for significant improvement and change in the management of offenders serving custodial and non-custodial sentences in order to reduce reoffending and step up the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S2M-1219.1 to motion S2M-1219—

Insert at end—

"but is, as yet, not persuaded of the case for a single national correctional agency."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 51, Against 64, Abstentions 3).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 112, Against 5, Abstentions 1).

5. Business Motion: Patricia Ferguson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-1209—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) that consideration of the School Education (Ministerial Powers and Independent Schools) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1 be completed by 25 June 2004; and

(b) that the Justice 2 Committee reports to the Justice 1 Committee by 7 May 2004 on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Shorthand Writers in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2004 (SSI 2004/149) and on the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors and Witnesses in the Sheriff Court) (Amendment) 2004 (SSI 2004/152).

The motion was agreed to.

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

7. Threat to Jobs at TransBus International: The Parliament debated S2M-1145 in the name of Dennis Canavan—That the Parliament is gravely concerned about the fact that the Mayflower Corporation has entered administration with a resultant threat to 1,000 jobs at TransBus International in Falkirk and Larbert and believes that the Scottish Executive should contact the employees' trade union representatives, the administrator and any prospective buyers to offer assistance and advice so that everything possible is done to try to save the jobs of the TransBus workers who make a very important contribution to the Scottish economy.

The meeting closed at 5.58 pm

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

29 April 2004

Appendix

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 29 April 2004 and is subject to annulment

The Special Waste Amendment (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 (SSI 2004/204)

laid under schedule 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 29 April 2004 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Food Standards Agency Departmental Report Spring 2004 (SE/2004/91)


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