Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Greater protection for investors and businesses will follow from MiFID reforms, Strasbourg, 26.10.12

The proposals for reforming the EU's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MiFID2) adopted today by the European Parliament should provide extra protection for investors both directly and indirectly through improved disclosures and transparency, and reduce the risks associated with the development of new trading technologies, Dr Kay Swinburne MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists group economics spokesman, said today.

The revised legislation will put in place the tools and structures that regulators need to have full oversight of all trading activity. These include establishing a new ‘Organised Trading Facility' so that investors can be confident that trading in derivatives and bonds is occurring in an equitable and transparent manner where trades, when appropriate, are subject to proportionate and calibrated pre and post trade transparency requirements.

Dr Swinburne drafted a pre-MiFID report in 2010 which called for more information to be made available in a useable form so that regulators can ensure the market is serving the long term interests of investors and businesses rather than seemingly forcing them into trading on dark pools. The proposals adopted today contain a number of measures, originally proposed in that report, to ensure a more level playing field such as: coordinated circuit breakers across venues, minimum tick sizes, a strong focus on appropriate fee structures at venues, reasonable market maker obligations and testing of algorithms. Many of which are also cited in the foresight project conclusions in their study on "The Future of computer trading in Financial markets" published this week.

The long-overdue building blocks for an EU ‘Consolidated Tape’ (which provides trade data on all trading venues including OTC) are also being laid with the parliament calling for the market to come forward with a competitive solution, otherwise regulators will. The USA has had such a system in place since 1976 and although Dr Swinburne had argued for a single tape to be established, the competitive solution is an adequate step if it works. Fair and efficient markets for all participants and consumers is a priority for the ECR group and the current text will improve investor protection across the EU, not just the UK, with full disclosure of all fees. Together with the regulation of commodities, including agricultural products, which introduce position limits and position management oversight should benefit participants and the wider economy more generally.

Following today's vote of the full parliament, negotiations will begin with national governments in an effort to find a way forward that will enable the EU to fulfil its G20 commitments on derivatives, without delay.

Dr Swinburne said:

"This updated legislation will create the tools and infrastructure needed to ensure scrutiny of trading without hindering technological innovation. Safeguards are being put in place that should give retail and long term investors confidence that they are not being subject to unfair practices in the market place.

"In an age of trading in micro seconds the regulator needs to be able to monitor exact chains of events across venues to properly tackle market abuse, so simple measures such as data reporting, synchronisation of trading clocks and improved transparency in all asset classes should be positive moves.

"At its heart, MiFID is about creating a positive environment for investors both large and small to be able to save for the future. The other side of this is that it allows companies to raise the capital they need in order to provide the growth and jobs that are so desperately needed in Europe today. The intermediaries role is simply to facilitate this process, the system must be designed for investors and businesses - they are the ones that will get Europe back on its feet and able to compete on the world stage."

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Welsh Conservatives

The European Commission has today designated European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to the well-known Pembrokeshire Early Potato from West Wales.
The Pembrokeshire Early Potato was one of only three quality farm products whose applications for PGI status were approved today.
The EU PGI schemes protect product names against misuse and under these schemes more than 1200 products are already protected.
Commenting on this announcement from the European Commission today Dr Kay Swinburne MEP – who is from West Wales - said:
"I am delighted to see that this application to have "Pembrokeshire Earlies" added to the register of PGI products has been approved by the European Commission today."

"Achieving this prestigious status is a clear acknowledgment of the high-quality and distinctive produce we continue to deliver in Wales. Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes thoroughly deserve their place alongside the well-known food and drink products from right across the EU which already feature on the PGI register."


Kay was delighted to host an event to celebrate Higher Education, Science and Innovation in Wales last night in the European Parliament.  The event builds on the British Council’s “Strategic Analysis of the Welsh Higher Education Sector, Distinctive Assets”.  A number of experts spoke to share their views of Welsh HE at the event and how it can develop in the future.

In advance of the 'Fox-Hafner Report' vote on the single seat for the European Parliament, Kay and the other UK Conservative MEPs feel it is right to draw attention to the fact that the seven-year cost of the dual-seat arrangement comes to £928,000,000. Since her election to the European Parliament in 2009, Kay has strongly supported bringing the monthly Parliamentary meetings in Strasbourg to an end and therefore saving taxpayers a considerable sum of money.


Kay was delighted to meet Malala Yousafzai, who was awarded the EU's Sakharov Human Rights Prize at the European Parliament today.

Following Malala’s speech to the European Parliament, Kay said, “What an inspirational speech Malala gave to the Members of the European Parliament today. As a mother of young children myself, I hope that they can also aspire to achieve like her. Malala is an exceptional young lady who has overcome adversity by tremendous force of character and a passionate belief in the right of everybody to enjoy and benefit from education.”   


Kay was very pleased to meet with members of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Group at the European Parliament in Brussels, one of four groups set up in key Welsh research strengths to engage with EU research funds. The delegation visiting Brussels included representatives from Cardiff University, Bangor University, Swansea University and Trinity St.Davids University.

In advance of tomorrow's European Council meeting of leaders, Dr Swinburne has echoed the recommendations made in a recent report published by a number of business leaders, which highlights the importance of removing barriers to business competitiveness in Europe and getting rid of burdensome legislation by cutting EU red tape.

Last year Dr Swinburne encouraged businesses in Wales to highlight to the European Commission which over-burdensome regulations they would like to see slashed, by writing to small businesses all over Wales and asking them to tell her their red-tape problems.

Electronic cigarettes no longer face being taken off the shelves by the EU after Conservative MEPs were successful today in amending EU legislation on tobacco labelling.

Conservative MEP's led the amendment to defeat proposals that would have classified e-cigarettes as medicinal products, meaning they would have to undergo an overly burdensome and costly authorisation procedure, which would go beyond the procedures for traditional tobacco products... (Read more under 'Articles')



Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne has been sitting down with leaders in Europe's biotech field to choose the top five candidates to compete in this year's EuropaBio Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award.

As a member of this year's judging committee, Kay is once again supporting the EuropaBio award, which has attracted applications from all three sectors of biotechnology - healthcare, industrial and agricultural, from across the EU... (Read more under 'Articles')


WELSH Conservative MEP Dr Kay Swinburne today hailed a vote in the European Parliament as a "wake-up call" in the battle to save Europe's endangered languages.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg backed a report which calls on governments across the EU to develop action plans to encourage continued linguistic diversity.

The report, written by Corsican MEP François Alfonsi, also says governments should be "more attentive" to threats which may lead to languages becoming extinct.

Dr Swinburne, who was a shadow rapporteur for the report, has argued that Welsh can be seen as a positive example of language revitalisation which communities across the EU should follow... (Read more under 'Articles')

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