This week I’ve been contacted by a large number of constituents concerned about excessive speculation on food commodities, and the impact this has on the cost of food for some of the poorest people in the world.
Labour MEPs have made fighting this kind of excessive speculation a priority in recent years. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, passed last year, set out new rules aimed at stopping large financial companies from effectively placing large bets on the future movement of food prices in ways that push up the price of basic foodstuffs. We fought hard for these rules to be as strict as possible, and we were incredibly proud when the final law featured a tough new regime.
As some correspondents are pointing out, there is now a risk that these rules could get watered down in the implementation phase. But Labour MEPs will fight this all the way.
My fellow MEP Anneliese Dodds is leading the work on this legislation for Labour in the European Parliament, and she has made clear that we will not accept any watering-down of the new rules. The implementation plan put forward by the Commission is not good enough. If they don’t change it, to make the rules as strong as they can possibly be (as the law we passed requires), then Parliament has the power to reject their proposals and send them back to the drawing board.
We are doing all we can to make sure that the days of excessive speculation on food commodities are behind us.