Something went by unnoticed in the press – an EU crackdown on sweetheart tax deals was announced in a decision by the EU’s Council of Ministers. While there is certainly a public interest to see multinationals pay their fair share, the fact remains that every solution from the EU that calls for a slow convergence of our so called ‘free trade area’ makes it look like the customs union the public never voted for.
It would involve all Europe’s Member States disclosing the tax deals made with corporations by their tax authorities. Aside from incremental moves towards further European integration, it speaks of incredible hypocrisy in light of the ‘Luxleaks’ revelation. This is why sovereign governments across Europe must remain ever vigilant of the EU’s backward reforms.
This common rate of corporate tax would not only damage Britain but all of Europe’s ability to compete abroad. Overriding a country’s ability to independently raise a tax base does not only erode our autonomy, but assumes that coercion is better than competition and transparency. A uniform rate across the continent simply puts us at a disadvantage.
Taxation powers should always remain in the hands of a democratically elected government – which the EU is not. Taxation without representation was the rallying cry of American Revolution. The British colonies in America revolted for far less than what the EU is planning. Being robbed of our ability to set our own rate of corporation tax is a disturbing assault on Britain’s sovereignty.