HC Deb 04 November 2003 vol 412 c559W
Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations the Government have received from(a) the Oil and Gas Industry Liaison Team and (b) other parties concerning the proposed Energy Chapter in the draft European Constitution; and if she will make a statement. [135884]

Mr. Timms

The Oil and Gas Industry Liaison Team, in an open letter to the my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 22 October 2003, set out their view of the implications for the UK oil and gas industry posed by the Energy Chapter of the draft European Constitution. A number of organisations with UK oil and gas interests have also made representations to Ministers. Under the Treaty establishing the European Community, there is already Union activity in energy matters and we believe there is a strong case for making the legal base for policy in this area more transparent. However, the UK Government will only agree to an extension of competence in energy policy if it is consistent with British national interests.