Search

Inside Parliament: The battle to protect Tate & Lyle Silvertown goes on

14:00 28 September 2012

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham

Archant

Inside Parliament: Exclusive Column from East Ham MP Stephen Timms

Inside Parliament: This week’s column from East Ham MP Stephen Timms.

Last week, I visited the European Agriculture Commissioner, Mr Ciolos, in Brussels. I was there to challenge European rules limiting the amount of cane sugar Tate & Lyle can obtain, even though there is a European sugar shortage. Jobs have been lost at Silvertown, and the future of the refinery could be at risk.

I was disappointed not to meet the Commissioner himself. I have been asking for a meeting for six months. Instead I met one of his officials, a friendly Welshman, but didn’t get much joy.

Europe’s sugar rules used to keep the price of sugar in Europe above the world market price, so it was worthwhile to grow sugar beet in Europe. The Commission changed the rules in 2006. In a letter to me last May, they claimed the result was: “a better deal for consumers and taxpayers and a more focused and competitive EU sugar industry”. They point out that the gap between the world and European sugar prices is less than in 2006, so European consumers get a better deal.

But I pointed out to them that the gap has risen sharply over the past two years. The problem their new rules were supposed to fix is now getting much worse. When a sugar shortage emerged, the Commission forced refiners like Tate & Lyle to pay a very high duty on extra cane imports. That forced the sugar price up. Beet producers were allowed to obtain extra sugar beet for much less, in some cases paying no duty at all. With the high sugar price, they have enjoyed huge profits.

In 2015, the rules will change again. I shall be campaigning for the new rules to be fairer, so that consumers don’t keep being ripped off, and that, after 140 years, cane refining in Newham can continue.

0 comments

Latest Newham News Stories

21 minutes ago
A new careers seminar in Newham could help fashionistas get ahead in the competitive fashion industry. Picture Dominic Lipinski, PA Archive, Press Association Images

Budding fashion designers and entrepreneurs in Newham have the chance to mingle with renowned industry experts at a free career seminar next month.

Elizabeth Olympic Park
15:21
Newham had the highest rate of repossessions in 2015                      Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

Newham had the highest rate of home repossessions in the country last year, figures from the Ministry of Justice have shown.

United Kingdom
14:00
Angie Darcy in Janis Joplin: Full Tilt

Actress Angie Darcy talks becoming the iconic singer as the Edinburgh Fringe hit transfers to Newham’s Stratford East Theatre Royal.

Canada
Enjoy the great outdoors this half term

There’s plenty to do to beat the boredom this half term. Whatever your little (or not so little) ones are into, there will be something on your doorstep to keep them occupied. All activities are free unless specified.

Elizabeth Olympic

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe