Europe, External Affairs and Culture – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 21st June 2007.
To ask the Scottish Executive how it will respond to proposals by the Electoral Commission to reduce the number of members of the European Parliament who represent Scotland from seven to six at the 2009 European elections. (S3O-284)
The Scottish Government opposes any reduction in the number of MEPs representing Scotland. The distinctive political and legal circumstances in which those MEPs work is an issue that we will raise in contacts with the Electoral Commission and the United Kingdom Government.
I thank the minister for her comments and support on this matter. Given that the proposal would downgrade Scotland's representation in Europe to half of that enjoyed by other similarly sized European nations, what will she do to generate the general public's support on this issue?
Angela Constance is quite right. The fact that Scotland's MEPs operate within very particular circumstances, many of which are to do with the country's separate political and legal systems, merits the UK Government considering whether the current legislation is appropriate. The Scottish Government will make those points in its response to the Electoral Commission and in separate representations to the Secretary of State for Justice.