Video: Premier Burt On Relationship With EU

December 16, 2017 | 7 Comments

Bermuda is one of the leading countries in adopting country by country reporting for multi-national enterprises, and we will continue to cooperate with the European Union who is an “important partner for Bermuda,” Premier and Finance Minister David Burt said.

These were some of the comments from Premier Burt when he sat down with Bernews for a live interview on a wide range of topics on Friday, with the recently released EU list and the island’s relationship with the European Union one of the matters discussed.

Earlier this month the Economic and Financial Affairs Council [ECOFIN] released the “EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes”, which included 17 nations; American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

ECOFIN also 45 listed over nations including Curaçao, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Taiwan, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Mauritius, Morocco, San Marino, Seychelles, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Bermuda and more, as jurisdictions which were deemed co-operative, however they had concerns that were identified.

Citing the “existence of tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity,” the Council said, “The following jurisdictions are committed to addressing the concerns relating to economic substance by 2018: Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and Vanuatu.”

In addressing the EU list and the island’s overall relationship with the EU, Premier Burt said, “Bermuda is one of the leading countries in adopting country by country reporting for our multi-national enterprises. So, for countries that operate throughout the world, global enterprises, they’re required to declare their income and expenses on a country by country basis.

“If you have country by country reporting, and you are sharing that information automatically with the European Union members who are signed up to this, some of them who are not signed up to this regime, so we are more advanced than many of the European countries themselves.

“If you do that, then you minimize the opportunity for profits being in a jurisdiction that do not reflect economic activity there.”

“They’re worried about the erosion of their tax base. That’s what they’re worried about,” the Premier said. “But if we are telling them how much money is being made inside of your country, that alleviates those concerns.

“The European Union is a very important partner for Bermuda. We do lots of business with Europe. Our insurance companies do a lot of business with Europe, and we’re going to continue to be an important partner to the European Union.

“We are not a non-cooperative jurisdiction. We are the definition, and as you’ve heard me say before, the Bermuda standard. We are leading the other overseas territories in what it means to be a cooperative jurisdiction. We’re going to continue to assert that leadership.

Asked how important the EU stance is to Bermuda, and what if, for example, the EU were to comes out and say Bermuda is blacklisted, Premier Burt said, “What is so interesting inside of this entire circumstance is everyone’s worried about the countries that were not blacklisted because they wanted them to be blacklisted, and not worried about the countries that are.

“They have South Korea on a blacklist. You’re talking about a G20 and OECD country that ends up on a blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. You have the UAE, the United Arab Emirates, that are on a blacklist.

“I’m quite certain that the European Union is not going to stop having investment flows from the UAE, nor are they going to ban the import of Samsung phones so they can’t have them from South Korea. So I think that the EU is working through their process. This is, by and large something that has a political dimension to it as well.

“We are going to continue to cooperate with the European Union,” Premier Burt said. “We had a meeting and briefing with members of the opposition today, so they were all here in this particular room.

“Next week, we have a meeting with industry representatives to let them know where we stand to alleviate any fears or concerns, and we’re going to work through this process in a very deliberate fashion.

“In the end, we’re going to make sure that Bermuda is going to continue to be a strong economy, and we are not going to put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage and sign up for things that other countries have not done themselves.”

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The video above was extracted from the full interview, in which Premier Burt discussed a wide range of topics including the island’s finances, the Government’s plans for economic growth, the cost of living, Brexit, the U.S. tax plan, the Paradise Papers, and more. You can watch the full video here, the excerpt on the Domestic Partnership Act here, and we will post additional excerpts/transcripts as able.

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Comments (7)

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  1. facts of the rock says:

    Bermuda’s relationship with the EU is dead in the water and just like the ill fated Titanic, it’s starting to sink.

    Brexit and SSM.

  2. Rohn Jankin says:

    This man wantsto comply to the EU he could have stared with marraige equality ……

  3. wahoo juice says:

    Words…you should be in real estate Burt then see where your words get you, a little over 100 days in and you guys are F’ing this place up big time. Go fix the busses and let the rest stay as is for your five year stint. Please.

  4. Bermudaperson says:

    Bermuda isn’t a country nor is Bermuda a member of the EU as itself due to the fact that Bermuda is part of the UK and not a separate and independent entity.

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