Report: EU To Target Territories In Brexit Talks

January 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Demands to open up Britain’s “network of overseas tax havens are set to be used by the EU as leverage to force concessions during Brexit trade talks,” according to a report from the Independent, which stated that “as things stand it looks like Bermuda will be given a clean bill of health by the EU.”

The story said, “Demands to open up Britain’s shady network of overseas tax havens are set to be used by the EU as leverage to force concessions during Brexit trade talks, The Independent understands.

“Publicly EU officials say the blacklisting process has nothing to do with Brexit, but separate sources in Brussels told The Independent British territories where billions of pounds are stashed will come into play.

“EU commissioners in December produced a blacklist of uncooperative tax jurisdictions, in a bid to clamp down on evasion and avoidance, tackle “threats” to members states’ tax bases and take on “third countries that consistently refuse to play fair”.

“But the 17 jurisdictions listed included no British Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies, despite them being named in earlier EU lists and some being implicated in the Paradise Papers scandal.

“The EU had agreed the blacklisting screening process would be put on hold for territories caught in Hurricane Irma, meanwhile the UK is said to have pushed back against tougher sanctions for blacklisted territories.

“But officials confirmed to The Independent that the screening process will now restart in “early spring” for British territories including Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Other British territories – Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey – promised to try and address EU concerns to stay off the list, which will now be reviewed annually.

“The Independent has been informed that as things stand it looks like Bermuda will be given a clean bill of health by the EU, but that outstanding questions remain for the Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla.”

A Government spokesperson told The Independent that the UK “is at the forefront of tackling evasion and avoidance” and it supports the development of the EU blacklist.

He added, “Overseas territories are separate jurisdictions with their own democratically elected governments and they decide their own fiscal matters.

“Thanks to our leadership, all of our Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories with financial centres are committed to all global tax transparency standards, including the Common Reporting Standard that makes it harder for companies and individuals to hide their money abroad.”

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