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 Full text 
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Markets in financial instruments - Markets in financial instruments, market abuse and securities settlement (debate)

  Anneliese Dodds, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, of all the pieces of legislation put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, the Markets and Financial Instruments Directive and regulation are some of the most wide-ranging and most important.

As Mr Ferber said, these pieces of legislation are incredibly ambitious in their scope. They aim to make markets more transparent, offer better protection to consumers, regulate new high-frequency trading techniques and stop speculation in vital commodities like food and fuel. All measures which, sadly, were not in place before the financial crisis and for which citizens across Europe paid the price. Partly because of the sense of scope and ambition, it has proved difficult for the European Securities and Markets Authority to set up all of the technical infrastructure needed for the legislation to go live on the original date of 3 January 2017. This is inevitably disappointing. Undoubtedly, it would have been better if Parliament had been made aware of this problem much sooner than we were, but at the same time, with a new regime of this scale, it is vital that we get things right. That is why I am prepared to support the proposal to postpone the application of the new regime by 12 months. However, I want to reiterate, this is not an invitation for the European Securities Markets Expert Group (ESME) or the European Commission or the financial services industry to breathe a sigh of relief and do nothing.

We have been told that 12 months was the minimum delay needed. If that is the case then every single day we will need to count in order to ensure that all is ready for the new go—live date of 3 January 2018; to be absolutely clear, there will be no second delay.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Marcus Ferber, the rapporteur, and all the shadow rapporteurs for working so cooperatively together. In doing so we have been able to send a very clear message from this House about exactly what we expect from ESME and the Commission during these additional 12 months. First, we expect regular updates and progress reports. We want to know exactly how the delay is being used to make sure that on 3 January 2018 the new improved financial services regime of method 2 comes into full effect. Second, we expect our concerns about some of the secondary legislation to be taken on board. We have been very clear over the last two years, about what these concerns are. If they are not reflected in the final level 2 legislation, then we have the right and the responsibility to reject what we have been sent.

For me the most important parts of the level 2 framework are dealing with commodity derivatives. It is unacceptable that speculators and financial markets can so manipulate the markets that they drive up the price of food for shoppers or damage the incomes of farmers. Method 2 very clearly states that this kind of speculation must stop and so places limits on the size of position that any one player can hold at a given time. It is in the secondary legislation that those limits will be defined. I have said time and time again that I want to see the limits as low and as strict as possible, especially for the most liquid markets. The original ESME proposals were not good enough and I am glad to see they were sent back by the Commission. But the Commission did not take on board all of Parliament’s concerns. We will be looking very closely to make sure that it has done so by the time the draft come back to us for adoption or rejection. We listened to ESME and the Commission when it came to their concerns about implementation; they now need to show that they have listened to us when it comes to our concerns about secondary legislation.

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