European Parliament votes to block ‘tax-haven Britain’

Molly, a member of the European Parliament’s tax inquiry Committee, has hailed today’s decisive vote in favour of a resolution on future EU-UK relations as the ‘final nail in the coffin of the Tories’ plan for creating tax-haven Britain’ post-Brexit [1]. The resolution makes clear that any future trade deal must be dependent on UK adherence to EU standards on taxation, including anti-money laundering legislation, exchange of information, anti-tax avoidance measures and must address the situation of its overseas territories.

Molly said:

“The overwhelming support by the European Parliament for an amendment requiring the UK to match EU tax standards is the final nail in the coffin of the Tories’ plan for creating tax-haven Britain after Brexit. The vast majority of MEPs support the Commission’s demands for a level playing-field on tax matters in any future trade deal and the trade negotiations are likely to include requirements to tackle the underbelly of the British economy: its overseas territories.

“The European Parliament has sent a clear message to the British Government: Brexit must become an exit from the race to the bottom on tax. Only if Britain complies with EU tax standards can it hope to achieve a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU27.”


[1] Full resolution on the framework of the future EU – UK relationship here

Relevant paragraphs are paragraph 19 and 45:

19 Recalls that the UK’s current position and red lines would lead to customs checks and verification which would affect global supply chains and manufacturing processes, even if tariff barriers can be avoided; underlines the importance of a high level of alignment between the Single EU VAT Area and the UK; believes that taxation matters should be included in any further agreement between the UK and the EU to ensure a maximum level of cooperation between the EU and the UK and its dependent territories in the field of corporate taxation.

45 Strongly believes that the UK should adhere to the evolving standards on taxation and anti – money laundering legislation within the Union acquis, including tax transparency, the exchange of information on tax matters and anti-tax avoidance measures, and should address the situation of its dependent territories and their non-compliance with EU good governance criteria and transparency requirements; insists that customs union access be made strictly conditional upon the UK’s alignment with the above-mentioned standards;