Cleaning up in the UK’s overseas territories should be a condition of any UK-EU trade deal after Brexit, according to the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament. The call comes as the group launches a new report which argues that the fight against tax havens, tax evasion and tax avoidance must be at the centre of Brexit negotiations.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group and coordinator in the PANA committee, commented:
“The EU must challenge the UK’s tax haven activities and make a reform of the tax system a condition of any future trade agreement with the UK.
Avoiding civilized rules on tax was always part of the UK’s Brexit agenda. Indeed, both the British prime minister and her chancellor have left no doubt that they plan to align British economic policy with the aim to make the UK the biggest competitor in the international tax race after leaving the EU.
The practice of zero tax on company profits in essentially all overseas territories must no longer be exploited for international tax dodging. Also in a future outside the EU, the United Kingdom needs an effective control of government state aid that can also be used to fight aggressive tax dodging. Special tax deals for non-UK residents with income abroad (“non-dom”) are unfair tax competition and must be abolished.
As EU member, the UK could defend its tax havens against European tax rules. That will stop now.”
Greens/EFA president Philippe Lamberts adds:
“The Brexit financial settlement has made plenty of headlines. But the contentious issues around tax will have a far more profound impact on the future economies of both the UK and the EU27.
Tax justice has to be put on the agenda of the Brexit negotiations. Rather than allowing the UK’s departure to start a race to the bottom on tax and regulation, the EU should be making the regulation of the UK’s overseas territory a necessary condition of securing a positive trade deal.”