Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Trading in Financial Instruments: European Parliament dark pools report adopted 09.11.10

Brussels, 9th November 2010 -- The European Parliament's economics committee today adopted a report by European Conservatives and Reformists economics spokesman Kay Swinburne MEP into regulation of trading in financial instruments such as 'dark pools'.

Dr Swinburne's report accepts that, while the 2004 Markets in Financial Instruments directive (MiFID) has benefited the EU's financial markets through increased competition and provided a number of benefits to investors, it has coincided with a huge increase in the use of technology and an unprecedented increase in the speed of trading. She warns that technological advances require more sustainable legislation to reduce levels of systemic risk in the functioning of the markets, ensure fair competition and ensure market integrity.

The parliament's position will now be taken into account when the commission brings forward reviews of the MiFID and Market Abuse Directives (MAD).

After the vote Dr Swinburne said:

"Today the Parliament has clearly shown its concern for the integrity of our financial markets, and is asking the fundamental question: is the market still serving the needs of long term investors and businesses?

"At the moment, there is a worrying lack of information readily available regarding the Over-The-Counter space, on broker-operated dark pools and on high frequency trading strategies. The European Parliament is asking for much more information to be made available and collected in a usable form.

"The only way to really understand whether the market is functioning correctly is for regulators to have enough information to see what is going on in the market. When practices like quote stuffing and spoofing are alleged to be taking place alongside supposed barracuda trading strategies which seem to be forcing long term investors into trading within dark pools it suggests that some kind of market dysfunction may be taking place.

"Hopefully, the Commission and Committee of European Securities Regulators will now use my report to take a long hard look at their reviews of Market Abuse Directive and MiFID and find answers to the questions I have raised."


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Dr Kay Swinburne MEP was delighted to welcome the Gwent Magistrates to the European Parliament in Brussels this week. The group, led by Revis Williams, enjoyed an informative talk about the workings and the history of the European institutions, followed by a visit of the main Parliament buildings.


The group also listened to the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee, and watched a televised briefing by UK Government Minister of State for Europe, David Lidington MP.


Speaking of the Gwent Magistrates' visit to the European Parliament, Dr Swinburne remarked:


"The opportunity to welcome Welsh constituents to the European Parliament, whether it be in Brussels or Strasbourg, is always an occasion which I look forward to. It was a pleasure to meet the Gwent Magistrates this week, and I look forward to hearing from them in the near future."


The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Royal Air Force is reforming an auxiliary squadron in Wales, 57 years after its disbandment. The announcement follows a series of proposals outlined in the independent review of the UK's reserve forces, part of the overall strategic defence and security review in 2010.


The newly reformed squadron’s commanding officer, Wing Commander Phil Sagar, said:


“As reserves play a bigger part in the UK’s military strategy, the reforming of 614 Squadron will provide an exciting and challenging opportunity for people in Wales to be part of the future of their Royal Air Force."


Efforts to re-launch 614 Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force is now nearing completion, with an emphasis to start recruiting personnel to man the squadron in the near future.


Upon learning of the announcement, Dr Swinburne MEP commented:


"I am delighted to hear of the Ministry of Defence's decision to reform 614 Squadron in Wales, especially considering the UK's reserve forces play such a crucial role in the nation's defence capabilities.


"The opportunities to develop skills in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron are endless, and provide for an excellent opportunity for those who are interested to train with likeminded driven, and professional individuals.


"I wish Wing Commander Sagar the best in the recruitment process for the squadron, and look forward to hearing of its successes in the weeks and months to come."


If you are interested in joining the reserve forces, find out how you can get involved at:  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence/about/recruitment#join-the-reserves

Conservatives in the European Parliament have contacted the European Commission seeking information about EU funds for those facing financial losses because of the storms.


Inshore fleets, including those in Wales and southern England, have been particularly badly affected this winter as storms have prevented them from going to sea.


According to Dr Swinburne fishermen have faced the choice of risking their lives at sea or not having enough money to pay their bills and feed their families. Fishermen were finally able to return to the sea only last weekend after almost two months of inactivity.


Following pressure from Conservative MEPs, the European Commission has revealed that support can be provided via EU schemes such as the European Fisheries Fund...(Read more under 'Articles')



In advance of tomorrow's European Parliament vote on the Tobacco Products Directive UK Conservative MEPs gather to show that they are 'still fuming' about EU proposals to over-regulate e-cigarettes. Many of the companies currently supplying Welsh constituents with these less harmful alternatives to tobacco products are small Welsh businesses. As the proposal currently stands it would be draconian and likely to result in the e-cigarette business being moved to the pharmaceutical companies and tobacco companies themselves. Another unintended consequence would also be that the sponsorship of the Merthyr stadium by Welsh Company, E-ciggs would also be unlikely to be allowed if these measures are adopted unchanged.


Dr Kay Swinburne, Conservative MEP for Wales, will join representatives of UK thalidomide survivors today to meet with Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg, in Strasbourg.

These representatives have campaigned tirelessly for proper compensation for thalidomide survivors, from the German manufacturer of the drug, Grunenthal.

Speaking in advance of today's meeting Dr Swinburne MEP said:

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to join the representatives at this crucial meeting today."

"Proper compensation from Grunenthal for thalidomide survivors is long over-due, but these representatives have refused to give up, campaigning continually for justice."

"I have already written to Commissioner Borg stating my support for their campaign and I really hope that together we will be able to secure the help of the Commissioner, in brokering a meeting between the representatives of UK thalidomide survivors, the German Government and Grunenthal."


Wales has already benefitted from £57 million pounds of UK Government investment in the Superfast Cymru project, but today's news that local projects in Wales will receive an additional £12 million of funding, focusing in particular on rural areas, will come as a welcome boost to businesses and families, who are yet to reap the benefits of superfast broadband.

Commenting on the news Dr Swinburne MEP said:

"This is great news for Wales. We are already seeing the value that investment in superfast broadband can bring, but it is vital we ensure that no community in Wales is left behind and this kind of extra funding can help us to achieve this goal and deliver a real boost to our rural economies."

"Superfast broadband can also unlock direct access to EU markets for our Welsh businesses, providing real opportunities for growth and for export."

"This extra funding is a clear signal of the UK Government's commitment to investing in broadband infrastructure for people in Wales and I look forward to seeing this funding aiding the delivery of the new technology to the doorsteps of as many homes and businesses in Wales as soon as possible."


Dr Kay Swinburne, Conservative MEP for Wales, has today met with European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, László Andor, who is currently making a visit to Cardiff. At an event in Ty Hywel, to welcome the Commissioner, she had the opportunity to discuss with him her thoughts on how Wales can ensure it generates the absolute maximum benefit from its new allocation of European Union funding for 2014 – 2020.

During his visit, Commissioner Andor will also be visiting the sites of three European Social Fund projects in Wales, to see how our communities have already been aided by EU funding.


The plans outlined by the Welsh Government on how Common Agricultural Policy funds will be distributed have confirmed that they will transfer 15% of the CAP Single Farm Payment from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 (Rural Development Programme).

15% is the maximum amount allowed, when it comes to transferring funds from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 and it is a bigger chunk of the budget than is planned in England, where the Government will only initially move 12% of the funds available and then gradually increase the amount to 15%. This initial reduction is designed to provide some comfort to farmers who are worried that this transfer of funds could leave them disadvantaged.


Commenting on this decision by the Welsh Government to opt for the maximum 15% transfer Dr Swinburne, Conservative MEP for Wales said:


“I am disappointed to see that the Welsh Government have not chosen to offer our farmers the same sliding scale that farmers in England are going to receive. Conservative MEP's fought hard for the flexibility and it is a shame that the Welsh Government are not using it to help Welsh farmers".


“In failing to opt for the 12% transfer rate, the Welsh Government has missed a vital opportunity to address some of the understandable concerns our farmers have and to offer Welsh farmers a helping hand in what is a hugely competitive European agricultural market.”

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