Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, I represent the European Free Alliance part of my group which includes the independence parties of Wales, Flanders, Catalonia and Scotland. We seek independent status so that our nations can contribute to European Council meetings and to world events such as the Copenhagen conference on climate change. The government and the parliament of Scotland have adopted the world's most ambitious climate change act, with emission reduction targets of 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. These are targets which we mean to achieve, and yet the UK Government refused a reasonable request for a Scottish minister to be part of the official proceedings in Copenhagen. Such behaviour only underlines the fact that it is only with independence – the normal status of independence – that Scotland can properly contribute to the international community, and I hope that the European Council will very soon be discussing internal enlargement of the European Union, with Scotland leading the way.

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