By Tony Winterburn • 28 November 2020 • 19:21
Leaked Documents Expose EU’s Attempt To Control UK’s Tax Policies.
The UK and EU finally resumed face-to-face Brexit trade talks in London today, and the deadline to strike a deal moves ever closer. The transition period is due to end in just over a month, but the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier claimed that talks would need to be done with “patience and communication” if both sides are able to land a deal. Negotiations were halted last week after a member of the EU’s team tested positive for coronavirus.
The EU desire for alignment on tax reflected a fear in Brussels that Britain could become a Singapore-style low-tax economy after Brexit which would make it a magnet for business and investment. Although it has no current power over the UK’s tax, the EU made no secret of its desire to clamp down on low-tax member states, including Ireland, and has long called for a universal corporation tax rate.
These newly leaked documents appear to confirm that the EU indeed seeks to control or have a say in the UK tax regime. The document was originally written by the European Parliament’s TAX3 secretariat following a meeting with the Brexit Task Force, the EU negotiating team led by Mr Barnier, in 2018.
Earlier in that year, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told a German newspaper that if Britain was denied access to European markets it would “change our economic model to regain competitiveness”.
John Longworth, co-chairman of Leave Means Leave said: “These leaked documents confirm what leavers have feared all along, that the EU will stop at nothing to stifle Britain’s competitiveness post Brexit.
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