efa meps march 2018.jpg
Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, yesterday an opinion poll was published in Scotland that included a question about the draft EU Constitution. Scots in favour of signing up to the Constitution: 35%; those against signing up to the EU Constitution: 49%. Five years ago, a much more positive response would have been delivered from Scotland. Indeed, historically, Scotland has been much more positive about engagement with our European partners than certain other parts of the UK. But, in spite of all the talk since the fall of the Santer Commission about reconnecting with citizens, many of our policies and directives are still seen as insensitive and inappropriate to real life in our communities, not least in Scotland with the disastrous failure of the common fisheries policy. But I think the services directive has the potential to further undermine public confidence and I do not think it has been sensitively handled so far by the Council or the Commission.
It is widely seen as a further attack on essential public services. Much has been said about the potential effects of the country of origin principle, but, if we are to be sensitive to the reality, there is much more to it than that. For example, in the UK, Scotland's legal and regulatory system is entirely separate from that of England and Wales, and so on. I would like to see more recognition than we have to date not only of sensitivities at Member State level, but of differences within Member States as well.