UK must clean up its act on tax as a condition of future economic relationship with EU, say Greens in new report

Cleaning up the UK’s overseas territories should be a condition of any UK-EU trade deal after Brexit, says Molly, as the Green group in the European Parliament launch a new report which says the fight against tax havens, tax evasion and tax avoidance must be at the centre of Brexit negotiations. The call by Greens comes a week after Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said that an “ambitious” free-trade agreement between the UK and EU cannot be established “without common ground” in a range of issues including fair competition and tax dumping.

Molly, who was a member of the European Parliament’s Panama Papers inquiry into money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion and is Green Party speaker on Brexit, said:

“Theresa May has said she wants a ‘deep and special relationship’ between the UK and the EU after Brexit. Such a relationship must be based on a commitment by the UK to meeting the same standards on tax regulation that are met by the remaining EU27.

“The new report launched by Greens today looks in detail at how the UK has established itself as a global tax haven. It also calls on the EU to use the opportunity of Brexit to challenge the UK’s dodgy activities, particularly in regard to the status of its overseas territories, and make cleaning up its act a condition of any future economic relationship with the UK.

“Avoiding civilized rules on tax was always part of the Brexit agenda. Indeed, the Tories have explicitly stated that being one of the world’s major tax competitors will be a cornerstone of economic policy after the UK leaves the EU.

“It is time for the EU to take back control from the Brexiteers who would be happy to see a race to the bottom on tax, with the UK out in front destined to become the world’s number one tax haven.

“We must ensure that UK citizens continue to benefit from Green achievements on tax including the abolition of the sort of blind trust identified in the Paradise papers and that was Appleby’s speciality, as well as ensuring country-by-country reporting by corporations.”