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 Full text 
Tuesday, 4 February 2014 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation (debate)

  Arlene McCarthy, rapporteur. - Mr President, as you are a tough President I would beg your indulgence to just say a couple of thank yous for the very kind words that I had. I have to say, to those who said to me that I am tough, that when I first went into politics at a very young age I tried to be nice but I found it did not work. Being tough is the only way to get things done, and I have to say that I could only have got things done, and we could only have achieved what we have collectively achieved here – and we do achieve things in this Parliament – by working with the very excellent, skilled colleagues that I have. The next Parliament will have a very hard act to follow because in this term I have worked with some of the most excellent and skilled Members that I have ever worked with in my time as a politician. Your leadership, Commissioner Barnier, on these very complex issues, has been exceptional.

Some of you will recall that the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, in an interview in 2009 after the financial crisis said: ‘I am just a banker doing God’s work.’ Well, I have to say Commissioner, I have tremendous respect for your work because I think that you are a Commissioner, as a top legislator, who every day is doing God’s work in cleaning up the financial services industry.

Let me just make one little political comment which I feel I do have to make: the UK has not opted into these rules, and I think it would be a shame and a big mistake if the UK did not sign up to these criminal sanctions. Why? Because the UK would see perpetrators fleeing justice in other parts of the internal market, so why not sign up to something which is in the interests of the single financial market which the UK claims it firmly supports and believes in. Of course, the UK would be upgrading its own rules: it would be upgrading the UK national rules to ensure that we have criminal liability for financial institutions, and this is currently not part of UK law.

It is a shame, colleagues, that no UK Member participated in the debate except for the last intervention by Mr Brons, a former British National Party member. He demonstrates why, sadly, I feel I have to give up this job because I have serious missionary work to do back in the UK to ensure that my country does not slide into an anti-Europeanism that ends up having no respect for European democracy, no respect for this House as a Parliament and undermines the very important successes and benefits that many of my constituents get from the UK being a member of the European Union.

So I hope you will support me in my missionary work as I go back to the UK to promote what we do here in this House, and I hope also to work with you all in the future in whatever role I take up. Thank you again for all your support and indeed for being very excellent and hardworking colleagues as I progress with this legislation.

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