Conservatives call for sound sense on conflict minerals, not grandstanding

20-May-2015 @ 16:45

Emma McClarkin Emma McClarkin

Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Eye-catching headlines are no substitute for sound legislation and a measured approach, Conservatives warned in Strasbourg today as MEPs voted on the issue of so-called conflict minerals.

Conservative MEPs opposed moves, pushed through by Communists and Socialists in the Parliament, including British Labour MEPs, to legislate for blanket mandatory certification for processing and importing minerals and metals from countries deemed to be conflict zones.

If enacted, the Left's response to conflict minerals would only make life worse for people in conflict regions and war zones as mandatory requirements have been proven to have a de facto embargo effect on conflict regions with the closing down of mines denying innocent miners and their families of their livelihoods.

Emma McClarkin MEP, Conservative spokesman on international trade, said: "Left wing MEPs are unfortunately more interested in an emotive headline than actually worrying about the impact on he lives for people on the ground in these war-blighted regions.

"As Conservatives, we are committed to preventing the funding of conflict through certain minerals that are often found in household items such as mobile telephones.

"Although the Commission recommended a voluntary system, we sought to strengthen the law to require mandatory due diligence for smelters and refiners and importers, building a functioning system from the ground up, while allowing for genuine trade in these metals and minerals to continue.

"However, the Left of the parliament wants to see mandatory due diligence across the entire supply chain in spite of strong evidence from a similar approach used in the USA's Dodd Frank Act which shows that this risks undermining legitimate miners in often poor and conflict-torn regions as businesses who cannot afford the mandatory requirements, or get the verification they need, seek to source minerals from elsewhere."

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