UK cannot regress to unethical trading after Brexit, warn Labour MEPs as EU gets tough on conflict minerals trade

David Martin MEP

The European Parliament voted today to back new laws for the mandatory regulation of minerals imported into the EU, designed to break the link between armed conflict and the mineral trade - regulations Britain must maintain after Brexit, lest it regress to unethical trading practices, Labour MEPs have warned.

David Martin MEP, member of the European Parliament international trade committee, said:

“Labour MEPs knew a voluntary system would not have been effective and pushed hard for a mandatory approach and a broader coverage of the whole supply chain - this is a big victory for us. We can now show to our trading partners that the EU continues to be at the forefront of global efforts to create more transparent, responsible and sustainable business practices.

“Today’s vote represents a landmark step forward in ensuring responsibly-sourced products on our shelves. We cannot tolerate a situation where consumers buying jewellery or electronic products are unwittingly financing conflicts in some of the world’s poorest, most unstable countries.

“EU citizens have the right to know that the products they buy do not indirectly finance dictatorships abroad. It was unacceptable that the EU, through trade in minerals, was indirectly fuelling conflicts and human rights abuses in countries such as the DRC - and it would be truly unforgivable if the UK resiled from these new laws after Brexit and regressed to trading unethically.”

United Kingdom