Green MEP accuses UK of pressuring EU to delist its Overseas Territories from tax blacklist

Today, Oxfam published their latest findings into the EU’s tax haven blacklist. EU finance ministers will sign off on an updated EU black list next week, where it expected that several key tax havens will be removed from the list, including some of the UK’s overseas territories. Molly Scott Cato, a MEP who sits on the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) in the European Parliament, said:  

“Oxfam is again casting a spotlight on the way that tax havens facilitate organised crime and undermine the rule of law. What is particularly disturbing is that the EU blacklist of tax havens gives some of the UK’s overseas territories a clean bill of health despite being at the centre of recent tax scandals highlighted by the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers. It looks suspiciously like the EU is bowing to pressure from the UK and has delisted significant tax havens such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

“The EU must adopt a blacklist that is robust, systematic and comprehensive and does not allow countries promoting themselves as tax havens to have a veto over taxation rules. If Brexit goes ahead it will mean one less powerful player to lobby against tough European rules on tax. But for the UK this is a worrying sign of the low regulation tax haven country we could become if we leave the EU.”