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Hammond threatens to make UK Europe's tax haven

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion and Ethics' started by Markham, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Markham
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    Markham - Lifetime Member

    The German newspaper Die Welt's Sunday edition today published an interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It contains a threat to make the UK Europe's tax haven if no equitable deal is struck.

    Here's an excerpt:

    Hammond: We are now objectively a European-style economy. We are on the U.S. end of the European spectrum, but we do have an open-market economy with a social model that is recognizably the European social model that is recognizably in the mainstream of European norms, not U.S. norms. And most of us who had voted Remain would like the U.K. to remain a recognizably European-style economy with European-style taxation systems, European-style regulation systems etcetera. I personally hope we will be able to remain in the mainstream of European economic and social thinking. But if we are forced to be something different, then we will have to become something different.

    Welt am Sonntag: We don’t understand: Who or what would force you?

    Hammond: Economic circumstances. If we have no access to the European market, if we are closed off, if Britain were to leave the European Union without an agreement on market access, then we could suffer from economic damage at least in the short-term. In this case, we could be forced to change our economic model and we will have to change our model to regain competitiveness. And you can be sure we will do whatever we have to do. The British people are not going to lie down and say, too bad, we’ve been wounded. We will change our model, and we will come back, and we will be competitively engaged.
  2. Timmers
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    Timmers Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I think Hammond is just marking the ground for the forthcoming negotiations rightly or wrongly.

    He obviously believes in keeping his options open and why not?
  3. Markham
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    Markham - Lifetime Member

    That interview has been described as Hammond dropping a Brexit bomb on Berlin by Dominic Lawson, the journalist son of the former Chancellor, Lord (Nigel) Lawson. It does, I think, indicate that the May government is going to play hard ball when it comes to the negotiations and that May may be prepared to simply walk away if she doesn't get what she wants; unlike Cameron whose inability to leave the negotiating table resulted in the "deal" of no concessions he came away with.

    Now at least we have certainty of the government's stance: Brexit means leaving the EU, leaving the Single Market and leaving the Customs Union - hooray!

    Yesterday, the Lib Dem's "Mr Flip-flop" - Nick Clegg - apparently pleaded that Mrs May should seek to deliver a 'Norway model' solution, meaning Britain is outside the EU but retains membership of the Single Market. This is the same Nick Clegg who before the referendum vote, mocked this 'solution' in fairly disparaging terms. Back then he said "Norway have to pay into EU coffers, they have to obey all EU laws: it all gets decided by everyone else in Brussels and they have to translate it into law in Oslo. They have no power whatever, all the rules get made by foreigners: utter powerlessness." But for the Lib Dems, loss of influence and powerlessness is a price worth paying to allow Europe to export tariff-free to the UK, prevent the UK having its own trade deals with the rest of the world and the UK's eventual diminution to a mere province of superstate Europe.
  4. Timmers
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    Timmers Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Best to walk away from the EU if we do not get any reasonable concessions, it will make the process much faster and hopefully less painless.

    We voted to leave the EU, so lets get on with it.

    I'm looking forward to the Prime ministers speech tomorrow, hopefully it will make me a happy man.

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