§ Mr. Nicholas Brown:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact the energy provision of the draft European Union Constitution would have on the oil and gas industries operating on the United Kingdom's continental shelf; and what changes would have to be made to the present regime for these industries. 
§ Mr. Timms:
It is not yet clear what the precise effect of the energy chapter would be for the UK oil and gas industries. Although the draft Constitutional Treaty creates a legal base for energy, it does not, for example, bring forward a new regulatory regime. Article 111–157 of the draft Constitutional Treaty sets out EU competence in energy matters, including natural resources, with voting by qualified majority. The UK has proposed amendments which would make it clear that Member States retain control of their natural resources.