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A Labour MEP today attacked the European Commission's "foolish plans" to launch proceedings against the UK for use of the traffic light food labelling system.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour MEP for the East Midlands and Labour's European spokesperson on health and food, said:

"I am surprised and disappointed the Commission has ploughed ahead with foolish plans to challenge the UK's voluntary use of the traffic light labelling scheme.

"When I was part of negotiating EU food labelling laws we made it clear that countries could introduce voluntary labelling schemes.

"Consumers like the traffic light scheme because it gives them the information they need to make quick, informed decisions. If we’re serious about tackling obesity and related diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, we need to be transparent about what is in our food."

The traffic light system, announced in June last year, has been praised by health campaigners for giving consumers the information they need to make educated choices about what they eat.

Glenis Willmott MEP added:

"The easiest and most effective way to implement the traffic light scheme with legal certainty would be through EU legislation, and I think this is something we could still achieve in the future."

Labour MEP defends traffic light labelling as Commission launches proceedings against UK

A Labour MEP today attacked the European Commission's "foolish plans" to launch proceedings against the UK for use of the traffic light food labelling system.

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Employment commissioner-designate Marianne Thyssen today refused to match Jean-Claude Juncker's promise to review the posted workers directive.

Siôn Simon MEP, Labour MEP for the West Midlands and member of the employment and social affairs committee, asked her at today's hearing:

"On posted workers, President Juncker was incredibly clear in his promise for a review of the posted workers directive, the original directive, now, not at some point many years in the future when we've finished looking at the enforcement directive.

"You, both in your written answers and today, have been incredibly vague, talked at great length about the enforcement directive which misses the point as you know, that the Viking-Laval-Rüffert cases have systematically undermined the legal basis of the original directive and that it's that that needs a fundamental revision.

"Are you already breaking Juncker's promise to revise the original directive? If so has he licensed you to do that, or is that a split between you. If not, and you intend to keep the promise, what precisely do you mean by a targeted review, and should we not have a full revision, because a review without a revision is just a smokescreen."

In response, Ms Thyssen failed to say she would honour Mr Juncker's promise.

Employment commissioner nominee fails to promise review of posted workers directive

Employment commissioner-designate Marianne Thyssen today refused to match Jean-Claude Juncker's promise to review the posted workers directive.

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Labour MEPs have set three key targets for Lord Hill, Britain's nominee for the European Commission, who will be grilled by MEPs today.

The commissioner-designate for financial services must ensure legislation passed in the last mandate is implemented, without being watered down; finalise banking reform to regulate 'shadow banking' and improve access to finance for SMEs; and be a pragmatic voice in the debate on Europe, making sure the reforms he oversees deliver the best outcome for the people of the UK.

Anneliese Dodds MEP, Labour MEP for South East England and member of the economic and monetary affairs committee, said:

"Lord Hill has a huge and vitally important task ahead of him. We all know what happens if the financial sector isn't regulated properly. The effects are all around us: low growth, high unemployment, and businesses struggling to get on as we all try to recover from the impact of the financial crisis. He needs to maintain the high level of ambition of his predecessor for lasting reform that will make the financial sector safer and more stable, stimulating growth and jobs.

"If Lord Hill can demonstrate in the hearing today that he can deliver on these priorities, he should be confirmed as the next Commissioner for Financial Services."

Lord Hill must deliver lasting reforms to stimulate growth and jobs

Labour MEPs have set three key targets for Lord Hill, Britain's nominee for the European Commission, who will be grilled by MEPs today.

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