The EU moves to control taxation

I was pleased to see the EU is moving as planned to set more tax rates and tax policies at the EU level just as I have been predicting. The EU needs to centralise more to back the Euro and to complete its political union. It also underlines why many of us do not want this future for the UK, where we want to vote for those who tax us and have the right to sack them if they displease. As The EU’s latest document says, it wants to stop member states offering lower taxes as incentives to businesses or rich individuals. It wants ” a fair tax environment for all” which they say only the EU could guarantee for member states.

The ideas set out in “Towards a more efficient and democratic decision making in EU tax policy” concentrate on removing the ability of a state to veto a tax proposal. The EU also wants to introduce powers for the European parliament in this area. They are keen to press on with a common corporate tax system, VAT, a Financial Transaction Tax and a Digital Services Tax. They claim “co-ordinated EU action in taxation is essential to protect Member State’s revenues”. They claim “In today’s larger, modern and more integrated EU, a purely national approach to taxation no longer works and unanimity is neither a practical nor an effective way of decision making”. They want a standard system of VAT with a single form instead of 28 varieties as at present, and the ability to stop Ireland and others undercutting corporate taxes to attract business.

You cannot be an independent country and have others impose taxes o n your citizens and set your budget. The UK is getting out just in time. If we stay in or bind ourselves to their laws after technically leaving we could end up with their new taxes that would damage our businesses and our consumers.


  1. Peter Wood
    January 17, 2019

    Good Morning,

    Sir John, now is the time for you band of Brexiteers to take control and free us. Mrs. May effectively admitted she has no Plan B, which means there is an ‘exit plan’ vacuum. I sincerely hope that it is true that your team has a well thought-out exit and new terms of trade plan, and will present it today forcefully. If I might suggest, your team needs to publish, promote and shout about it to everyone who’ll listen; you need to own the TV chat shows and airwaves. The main fight is joined, please don’t let us down.

    1. oldtimer
      January 17, 2019

      It does exist. There have been presentations about it. It’s sponsors have promoted the idea in the HoC. You just will not know about it from the BBC or main media because it is exceedingly dull and technical. Yesterday I commented that for Mrs May, its adoption would be like swallowing barbed wire, vindicating those who resigned post Chequers. Given the EUs declared position, apparently shared by Mrs May, that the backstop is non negotiable then the only way to get to a FTA is to leave first with no deal; not least because the EU will not negotiate one with a state while it remains a member, only after it has left. A majority in Parliament wants to stay in the EU. The current impasse suits them fine. They, like the EU, do not want an exit with no deal. Nor does Mrs May. A tougher negotiator would have settled this long before now.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        January 17, 2019

        The Irish border is also technical and exceedingly dull but has been represented as pivotal and has therefore become “interesting”.

        Trade is more pivotal to our future than the Irish border and so should be more interesting in sound bite form. The right has never embraced the simple presentation of ideas believing the initiative is self explanatory.

        Bite sized chunks that speak to people’s self interest or offer virtuous potential.

        Can we also kill off the thought that we can negotiate a good settlement without having no deal at least on the table?

        1. mailman
          January 17, 2019

          No deal should have been the default position from day one! Instead its been turned in to this bogey man that must be avoided at all costs!!! And cynical politicians who do not want to leave the EU are using the fear of a no deal situation to keep the UK within the EU!

      2. Dougal Hamer
        January 17, 2019

        If it exists, where is it? Give me a link. These people have had years to offer a plan. There’s nothing, except vague promises. Maybe the dog ate their homework?

      3. Alan Jutson
        January 17, 2019



        Indeed what Mrs May is proposing will give even more power back to the EU as she wants something which our pro EU Parliament will agree with, rather than what the people voted for, which was simply to leave.

        The solution is May’s removal, but that has already been attempted and failed
        I sadly do not think she will resign.
        To get a proper Brexit we need a real Brexiteer in control, seems to me the only solution at the moment is to run down the clock and default to WTO, after all the majority of MP”S voted for exactly that as our backstop a couple of years ago.
        Problem is they say they will not again.

      4. NigelE
        January 17, 2019

        “A BetterDeal for a Better Future”

        Signed & supported by many senior Conservative Leavers but not, I note, Sir John.

        Why is that Sir John, it appears to cover all the points you have argued here? Perhaps because they agree to a financial settlement – though linked to progress with agreeing a suitable free trade deal.

        p.s. I really dislike your Captcha pictures – very American and such poor quality, so that determining what’s being asked for I find difficult.

      5. oldtimer
        January 17, 2019

        Here is a link to the pamphlet referred to above:

        It was published following Monday’s defeat of the WA.

        1. Doune
          January 18, 2019

          That is not a trade deal. That is a pamphlet saying a trade deal should be drafted. So get on with it. As others have correctly pointed out, a normal trade deal is hundreds of pages long and takes years to negotiate. You people have not even started. Over two and a half years since the referendum and you have not lifted a finger to shape an alternative. You spend all your time shouting down hardworking people like Mrs May, Mr Boles and Mr Grieve. But you have no plan of your own

          Reply Yes we do, full legal text coming shortly

  2. Mark B
    January 17, 2019

    Good morning.

    For me, them there bridges with the EU cannot be burned soon enough 🙂 Because once out, praise be to God, and we pursue our own interests, rejoining the EU further down the line will look less attractive to business and the citizens of the UK.

    They are keen to press on with a common corporate tax system, VAT, a Financial Transaction Tax and a Digital Services Tax.

    Yes, and guess who will be getting screwed the most if we signed Mrs. May’s so called ‘deal’ ? Because you can bet all you have that the rEU27 will milk the UK Cash Cow for all its worth on that.

    Our politicians have a fairytale view of the EU. Full of candy covered regulations, chocolate coated fines, lashings ans lashings of ginger beer lakes, or something a little stronger for the President of the EU Commissioner, all paid for by someone else. What could possibly bad about that. Well whilst it is their dream it is the rest of Europe’s, Nightmare on Elm Street (Google it).

    I say again to our MP’s. If you do not want to govern this great country then please resign your seats and let someone else do it.

    1. Stephen Priest
      January 17, 2019

      Remain MPs demand “no deal” is taken of the table.

      I haven’t heard one of them demand “39 billion” are taken off the table .

      Their real demand is 17+ millon are taken off the table.

      1. Turboterrier.
        January 17, 2019

        @ Stephen Priest

        Very accurate post Stephen.

        The obvious reply must surely be:

        Give them three fifths of naff all. We could accept the resignation of the Mrs May and here 200 odd lap dogs just to show there are no hard feelings

      2. Mark B
        January 17, 2019

        Good points.

    2. Turboterrier.
      January 17, 2019

      @ Mark B

      Yes, and guess who will be getting screwed the most if we signed Mrs. May’s so called ‘deal’ ? Because you can bet all you have that the rEU27 will milk the UK Cash Cow for all its worth on that.

      Spot on the money Mark, well said we are all thinking about it

  3. Helena
    January 17, 2019

    As a Member State, the UK could veto such tax plans. Outside the EU, we cannot, it will happen, and when we re-apply for membership in 10 years, we will be stuck with these rules. You have learned nothing from the 1950s and 1960s when the UK stayed outside the EEC instead of joining and shaping it. And you have learned nothing from Mrs Thatcher, who in the 1980s engaged wholheartedly with the EU and shaped it according to British tastes, especially the single market. Those (the ERG) who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.

    1. Richard1
      January 17, 2019

      It could be that had the UK joined in 1957 the EC would have gone in a different direction – much more limited in scope, focused on trade not the creation of a super-state. But the evidence from recent decades doesn’t support your view. Thatcher did promote the single market as she saw it as a move for free trade and against socialism. But it’s been used as a Trojan horse for political integration – which is why thatcher after her retirement took the view we should leave. The UK has achieved a few opt outs and has kicked and screamed but never succeeded in reversing, or even really delaying the relentless process of integration.

      Probably the last chance was Maastricht, which John Major should have just vetoed. But once the euro was created the die was cast.

    2. Original Richard
      January 17, 2019

      The EU will be banning shortly the use of the veto for tax for obvious reasons.

      It is amazing that after 4 decades of EU membership there are still people believe the EU can be “reformed” or made more democratic.

      The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over gain expecting a different result.

    3. Robert
      January 17, 2019

      Ah yes that would be the same Mrs Thatcher who got stabbed in the back by her own party because she could see which way the EU was heading and quite rightly didn’t want the UK to have any part in it.

    4. NigelE
      January 17, 2019

      But even as a Member, how long would the UK veto last when the EU is hell-bent on integration and ‘harmonisation’ of tax levels across all Members?

      1. Martin
        January 17, 2019

        It would last forever. That is the whole point of a veto. You say no to things you dont like. End of

    5. sm
      January 17, 2019

      Helena, you obviously missed the sentence “concentrating on REMOVING the ability of a state to veto a tax proposal”.

      Mrs T grew to regret her support of the Single Market.

      1. Martin
        January 17, 2019

        You cant remove a veto. That is the whole point of a veto

        1. anon
          January 19, 2019

          So explain how QMV arises?

          Explain what we can meaningfully veto if we remain in the EU on any similar traitors treaty?

          Explain why EU law is passed directly into UK law by SI without a wimper from “take back control” remainers.

    6. Edward2
      January 17, 2019

      We cannot veto such plans because they will be imposed via Qualified Majority Voting or imposed by making them a treaty obligation.
      This how we found reducing the level of UK VAT on certain products was impossible when we wanted to.

      I don’t mind the EU moving to harmonised taxation for its member nations.
      What annoys me is that euro fanatics like yourself routinely deny it is happening or say there is a magic opt out.
      Do you deliberately deny secretly knowing these plans exist or are you just misinformed?

    7. A.Sedgwick
      January 17, 2019

      The reality is Remaining would eventually see the UK as a Grade 2 member outside the Euro and Schengen. Over time we would have to integrate fully or become the equivalent of Norway. The EU politburo are quite good at shifting the goal posts.

      The Queen is supposed to have asked Sir Nick over a then Government lunch – can you give me three good reasons why we should stay in the EU? There was apparently no coherent response.

      No Remainer can ever give proof of membership benefits as our host does routinely on the benefits of getting out. Contrary to the beliefs of leading Remoaners the public are not idiots, common sense abounds among us commoners.

      President de Gaulle got it right by denying our entry in the 1950s and 1960s.

    8. Jagman84
      January 17, 2019

      QMV will put an end to maverick nations refusing to surrender to the EU solidarity mantra. On issues vital to the UK, we have been outvoted over 40 times during our EU membership. Rebates have been relinquished for empty promises on the CAP (many thanks, Mr Blair). Your rose-tinted view of the EU is a total delusion. As is staying in on current terms. We burnt all of our bridges when we voted to leave. Many politicians appear not to realise it.

      1. Martin
        January 17, 2019

        No QMV on tax. Unless we leave and throw away our veto

    9. Know-Dice
      January 17, 2019

      Could we (the UK) veto such plans?

      Unlikely under Qualified Majority Voting, which becomes more and more diluted against the UK and detrimental as time goes by…

    10. Davies
      January 17, 2019

      The EU didn’t exist in the 80s, it was the EEC, a very different animal to what it has become

      Mrs T warned against EU federalization, and the euro currency the consequences of which are quickly coming home to roost. She may have supported a common market but stopped when she realised where it was headed then of course was ousted by her federal colleagues.

      There is also the spectre of QMV in a wide swathe of areas to prevent vetoes, though I’m not sure if it applies here.

      Try watching the poisoned chalice published by the BBC in the 90 s and you might learn something. The UK was kept out of the EEC in the early days so as to give other members the chance to shape it to their own advantage, ie farming and fishing.

      A very good regulatory expert explained to me the opaque nature of regulatory stitch ups pursued by vested interests I.e lobby groups in the commission. This apparently is the European way not the way the UK does business, we really are not suited to that system so need to get out. Imagine a system in the uk where vested interests had direct access to our civil servants to get them to shape policy, it just wouldnt happen, it does in Brussells.

      There are people across the UK who know much of this. It was a huge mistake joining at all, the UK should have stayed out.

    11. Christine
      January 17, 2019

      You need to read the EU document. The first step is to take away the veto and go for QMV. I expect that once this is in place the next step will be for them to keep and control the revenue like they do with the tariff money. Unfortunately our politicians don’t keep up with where the EU is headed, John excluded. It’s time for those who know what the EU has planned for us get the media platform to tell the people. Project fear has nothing compared with the future and John is right to bring attention to these facts.

    12. Monty
      January 17, 2019

      “As a Member State, the UK could veto such tax plans.”

      The Commission has already instigated the programme to abolish the national vetoes over areas like taxation. The roadmap proposed is as described in the paper referenced by our kind host, who has also gone to some trouble to explain the necessity, from the EU point of view, of ever deeper and wider fiscal integration. Their Eurozone project is only halfway established, and they can’t complete it without doing this.
      Some folk seem to view the EU as something static. It isn’t, it’s moving all the time, and it isn’t going our way.

    13. Alan Jutson
      January 17, 2019


      All this was in the Five Presidents Report, Published before the referendum.

      It was there for all to see, the future plan of the EU.

      Taxes this time, Budgets next, then the EU Army, then more Laws given the supremacy of the EU Courts

      Why should you want us to oppose these EU directives, I thought you were in favour of the EU ruling over Nation States, and us in particular. ?

      That is why Remain is NOT AN OPTION because it will not remain as it is now.!

      1. Doune
        January 18, 2019

        The five presidents report was about the eurozone. Irrelevant to the UK. Didnt you realise?

        Reply Very relevant to us as well given the way they wish to use EU institutions to finance and control the Eurozone

    14. Mark B
      January 17, 2019

      Mrs.T was sold a pup by the Civil Service. The SM is nothing but a naked power grab by the EEC / EC / EU.

    15. Sir Joe Soap
      January 17, 2019

      Well Cameron tried to shape it but failed. Whether that was him or them is neither here nor there now. There are 28 EU members ranging from raging socialists to pretty mild socialists, and we don’t want to have our taxes controlled by them.

  4. sm
    January 17, 2019

    Anyone remember the Flanders&Swann refrain ‘It All Makes Work For The Working Man To Do’?

    I’ll bet every accountant, tax lawyer and auditor across the EU is cheering on this development!

  5. Dominic
    January 17, 2019

    What an absolutely superb opportunity this is for the United Kingdom.

    The British state reasserts sovereign control over all aspects of the United Kingdom

    As the EU moves towards a high tax, highly regulated system the UK can deregulate and cut both corporate taxes and the cost of doing business in the UK

    We shall see a flood of capital into the UK and away from the sclerotic Eurozone and the deeply damaging presence of EU politicisation.

    Member state governments will react negatively as their powers to raise revenues to finance their political and indeed politically convenient state spending is slowly taken away from them. This in turn will lead to internal conflict amongst all EU member states as they rebel against the ultra vires intervention from the EU

    And step by step the EU juggernaut, controlled by the German-Franco axis, strangles the sovereign ability of other EU member states to act independently

    The foundations are not being laid for the creation of a new nation but of a European catastrophe

    You cannot destroy a nation, its history, its culture, its democracy and the most fundamental rights of its citizens to determine their own future.

    Meanwhile, the UK should leave and become a haven of stability, low taxes and policy consistency

    We must elect a Eurosceptic, pro-UK government. That means we need a Eurosceptic leader of the Tory party.

    If May stays as our leader and wins the next GE then the UK will remain part of this EU authoritarian template to exploit continual crises to consolidate their powers and assert ever greater control over the policy actions of each member state

    May must deposed and all her lackeys booted into obscurity

    52% want their country taken back from the clutches of malfeasance politicians (Merkel. Juncker. Macron) located off our shores

    It is for the British electorate to decide who governs us.

    1. Jagman84
      January 17, 2019

      Well said , Sir!
      There is a saying… “Never underestimate the power of wilful ignorance”. Remainers have validated it beyond all doubt.

      1. forthurst
        January 17, 2019

        The people who demonstrate wilful ignorance are those who persistently vote for the Tory Party in the mistaken belief that they are voting for a patriotic party which puts the interests and ambitions of the British people before those of the globalists that own it.

    2. Mockbeggar
      January 17, 2019

      I just love the words quoted by our host “Towards a more efficient and democratic decision making in EU tax policy” for the sheer cynicism shown by a bunch of unelected administrators in Brussels.

    3. Sir Joe Soap
      January 17, 2019

      Indeed, and our Chancellor doesn’t even mention these major advantages. No wonder we are a laughing stock.

  6. Richard1
    January 17, 2019

    Do we imagine that if we go into Mrs May’s WA or anything like it the UK will be free of this under an eventual deal? Of course not. We will have to agree to this and many other integrationist policies (but with no vote on them in future). Otherwise it’s the backstop and the EU annexes UK(NI) as Mr Selmayer of the EC has explained he wants to achieve as a punishment for the UK for leaving.

    Remain would be better than Brino. Brino would be seriously bad news. (Although, NB, not necessarily for big business, just for democracy in the UK).

    1. Mark B
      January 17, 2019

      Remain would be better than Brino.

      And BREXIT would be better than Remain. Or have you forgotten what, EVER CLOSER UNION means ?

  7. Al
    January 17, 2019

    So we can have more nightmares like EU Digital VAT then, with 17% of affected businesses closing simply because the department responsible did not do the research?

    The people who created Digital VAT are the same people now pushing through Article 11 and 13, and who will be providing any future digital taxes. There is no accountability whatsoever, and no way to get rid of them, which I would say is a very good reason to leave.

    1. Bob
      January 17, 2019

      Until now, VAT returns have involved entering numbers into six input boxes on the HMRC website. But under the new MTD regs small businesses will likely need to either buy new accounting software or more likely pay for bridging software to upload the figs.

      Ne software to upload six numbers. How ridiculous!

      1. Bob
        January 17, 2019

        * New software.

  8. Caterpillar
    January 17, 2019

    Sir John,

    Though I agree with your final paragraph may I suggest a route out of the impasse.

    Step 1: PM May to seek two things from EU. (i) removal of backstop or modify to unilateral exit option and (ii) 3 month extension to Article 50.
    Step 2: 3 short debates and votes to recommend to the people (i) Managed no deal VS Remain, (ii) Managed no deal VS WA, (iii) Remain Vs WA.
    Step 3: 2nd Referendum! (i) Round 1: Managed No Deal VS Remain (ii) Round 2: winner VS WA. (just put three pairings on ballot paper and treat as two rounds). (Govt to publish full prep for no deal and full legal advice to WA)
    Step 4: Implement result.

    This process (i) judges between no deal & remain that together beat WA in HoC, (ii) ‘plays’ the winner against a (hopefully improved) WA. (iii) makes it clear what we are voting for, (iv) gives Remainers their 2nd referendum but sufficiently different from first, consistent with where we are and avoiding the STV bias, (v) allows MPs to give advisory vote, (vi) removes any excuse for not getting on with result.

    Reply Parliament is there to challenge and criticise the executive. It is not set up to be the executive.

  9. Shieldsman
    January 17, 2019

    What is this but greater integration, in which we could be involved if Parliament makes the wrong decisions.

  10. Lifelogic
    January 17, 2019

    Exactly as you say. You cannot be an independent country and have others impose taxes on your citizens and set your budget. Nor can the UK be remotely considered as a democracy when this is the position. The EU is not a sensible demos and the MEPs are just a fake and very expensive democratic veneer.

    Will we ever get our Independence Day?

    1. Martin R
      January 17, 2019

      In answer to your final question: No, not a chance of it while May, this government, and 85% of the Parliament have their say in the matter.

    2. Rien Huizer
      January 17, 2019

      This is not “others imposing taxes” . This is about countries not pursuing “beggar thy neighbor policies” But in a way so clumsy and blatantly designed to fail that it could only have come from a Commisioner who is cleaning his desk. The taxes proposed are levied by member states, for their own expenses. These are not EU taxes.

      1. David Price
        January 19, 2019

        Clearly you understand the words so clearly you are misrepresenting the truth.

        From the UK institute for Government – “The UK VAT system operates within parameters set by EU VAT directives”.

        The EU imposes ubiquitous VAT (it replaced a selective purchase tax on luxury goods ), dictates it’s structure and levels and takes a cut of receipts.

    3. margaret howard
      January 17, 2019


      ” The EU is not a sensible demos and the MEPs are just a fake and very expensive democratic veneer”

      Unlike us who have an unelected head of state, house of lords, civil service, judiciary and don’t even elect our prime minister? We have a first past the post system which literally excludes any but the two main parties ever holding office.

      Having lived in the same constituency for over 50 years I have yet to get any representation in parliament. In fact the seat has been in Conservative hands since its very beginning. A two party state ruled by an oligarchy.

      Freedom? Demos?

      1. Edward2
        January 17, 2019

        You see the flaws in our ancient Parliamentary system of government.
        And I agree there are modernisations needed.

        However you are completely blind to the growing centralised power of the EU, its plans set out on the 5 Presidents Report and the powers held by the Commission and Council and Presidents and Civil servie none of which you and I have ever voted for.

  11. agrictola
    January 17, 2019

    An arguement in not belonging and highly valid.

    However I will be more impressed when I hear that May has invited you, Bill Cash, and Iain Duncan Smith to No10 to ascertain what it is about her WA that is preventing you all voting for it.
    Talking to Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP, ET AL is a curtesy. They are irrelevant,knowing their core intentions.
    It is the DUP and her own party where the key to a sensible solution lies. All the rest is fodder for the talking heads on tele.

  12. margaret
    January 17, 2019

    I don’t believe that anyone wants an unfair tax system, however money courts popularity and not only helps growth but is growth, so a little competition between members surely would benefit those in a good position to lower rates for some and increase where appropriate. It is the power which needs to be evened a little more enabling all to do well.
    Some need less money to perform well , some need more .

    1. Rien Huizer
      January 17, 2019

      Lots of people like unfair tax systens if they benefit. UNless people are too poor to have accounts in the Channel Islands or better, Singapore. Taxation is theft by the government. That it serves a public purpose does not make it legitimate. I am in favour of voluntary contributions for many spending categories and user fees for what I consume from what the State produces, even including reservation fees (for instance for having the services of a police department although no one is actually thretening me with a crime. What is wrong with my principles?

  13. Everhopeful
    January 17, 2019

    The EU should read a few history books. Haven’t all Empires floundered on the rock of taxation? Admittedly the tax collectors would not be coming to every town and village in person to claim their dues…we are all anonymous and electronic now. Let’s pray that we get a proper Brexit and that Remainers are denied the joy of contributing to the EUs schemes and dreams.
    ( Why does the EU want an army when it was supposedly set up to stop war?)

    1. GilesB
      January 17, 2019

      They need an army for internal control in order to suppress Independence movements like Catalonia and Brexit, and to put down protests like the gilets jaunes.

      At the moment the local, ie national, security and defence forces and firefighters and ambulance drivers have far too much with empathy with the protestors for the liking of the authoritarian globalists.

    2. Bryan Harris
      January 17, 2019

      Everhopeful – I smiled at your comment:
      ( Why does the EU want an army when it was supposedly set up to stop war?)

      So true…. But I suspect the army will be used internally, against yellow vests and those that oppose immigration…… and eventually to depose any elected government that doesn’t stand up and beg when told to.

    3. Mitchel
      January 17, 2019

      If you want longevity you fund your government/administration through tax not currency debasement.One of the reasons why the Roman-Byzantine Empire lasted so long.

    4. margaret howard
      January 17, 2019


      “Why does the EU want an army when it was supposedly set up to stop war?)”

      We obviously haven’t leaned that yet because we still follow the US into illegal wars like Iraq which set the whole Middle East on fire.

      If we have a Brexit and put our trust into trade deals with the US they will no doubt insist on us being their stool pigeon and follow them into yet more aggressive military ‘interventions’.

      1. Penny
        January 17, 2019

        I don’t see Trump wanting the USA interfering in overseas wars – he’s more of an isolationist.

      2. Edward2
        January 17, 2019

        Arab nations and the different factions of the Islamic religion have been fighting one another for centuries.
        You probably dislike President Trump but he has the same pull out and leave them alone policy towards the Middle East as you do margaret.

    5. Kevin Lohse
      January 17, 2019

      To deal with a plague of yellow jackets?

  14. George Brooks
    January 17, 2019

    This is another true and very accurate definition of ”just in time”. We need to come out in 72 days time to escape the clutches of the EU, come what may. (no pun intended)

    Remainers and some leaders of business need to accept that a short period of pain and disruption is far better for our long term future than being than being sucked down under the monetary and political control of a failing state.

    If we hadn’t voted to come out in 2016 we would be hurtling towards certain disaster with the other 27 countries. Thank heaven just in time

    1. Iain Moore
      January 17, 2019

      I am surprised no Brexiteer has pointed this out , along with the EU army, a financial transaction tax, a digital tax, if we hadn’t voted to leave I gather there was a planned increase in our EU contributions, a pretty steep one. It seem to me the Brexiteers have gone to sleep. Everytime EU supporters say we have to Remain they should be made to explain what Remain they are talking about ? The EU is not a static thing. In the last few days I gather the EU parliament have voted against removing VAT on sanitary product. Why are Brexiteers making capital on that? And I gather we have been voted off the board of the EU investment Bank, even though we have a large stake there, and aren’t going to get paid back until 2050.

    2. Mark B
      January 17, 2019


      Good post and thank you.

  15. Monza 71
    January 17, 2019

    All this centralisation of taxation and much more besides is nothiong more than a massive transfer of powers to Brussels disguised as what would be nothing more than a futile attempt to bolster the failing Euro. It won’t help the Euro, of course, because only unfettered fiscal transfers between Member states will achieve that and any proposal alon those lines would be anathema to the net contributor States in the Euozone like Germany, Finland, Netherlands and Austria.

    Add to growing centralisation of power in the hands of the likes of Juncker and Co the evidence of the way we have been treated since the first “People’s Vote” and issues like the new European army that Clegg dismissed as an invention of Brexiteers, and we have all the ammunition we need to win a second referendum by a much bigger margin.

    Unfortunately the Remainers know that and they will already be working with their establishment allies in the Civil Service to ensure that the version of “Leave” that would be stated on the ballot paper would be as unpalatable as possible. They would probably try to make it a binary question : May’s deal or Remain. That would have to be prevented at all costs.

    Given the absence of any flexibility from Brussels, leaving under WTO Terms is now the only route out that will achieve a proper Brexit : one that would meet the very sensible Lancaster House Red Lines but such are the forces lined up against us that I cannot see how it can continue to be the default outcome.

    1. margaret howard
      January 17, 2019

      Monza 71

      ” bolster the failing Euro.”

      Could you tell us then why the ‘failing euro’ has replaced our pound as the world’s largest reserve currency after the US$?

  16. Sir Joe Soap
    January 17, 2019

    Well we don’t seem to be going anywhere. Having asked the EU for their opinions and put those into her WA, Mrs May is now asking every other party in the HoC their opinion and no doubt putting those into a new WA. When that is soundly rejected she will say the only option is to go back for another referendum.

    At that stage, many of us will know the game is up and that voting changes nothing.

  17. Javelin
    January 17, 2019

    I think the key to a unified EU is to look at Cornwall and understand that a country needs the same “fiscal quality of life” – that is at the very least the same or more fiscal spending.

    Cornwall pays £2.5k per head in tax, whilst the average is £5k and £10k in the Home counties. Yet fiscal spending is higher per head in Cornwall.

    If this were not to happen then Cornwall would split off to make its FX rate lower and it’s tourism and argriculture more affordable.

    The same equation applies to Germany and Greece. But the Germans don’t appear to want to pay for Greece It is interesting during EU integration the pressure has first been put on the poorer countries and will then be on the richer countries – and that could be the point of failure.

  18. Stred
    January 17, 2019

    The Remainers in Parliament, together with there friends in the media, think they are clear to delay and either bind us into a customs and law union with the EU or rig a second referendum. May is now busy talking to Labour Remainers and finding her common ground. Labour’s closer ties to the EU would suit her and the international businesses that find the party.
    Last night on the BBC News the MPs chosen to comment were Dr Wollaston, the Conservative turncoat and Mr Bennett, the arch Remainers and partner with Mr Grieve in putting motions before Parliament to deny Brexit. They seemed very pleased that they could now proceed to ignore the order given by the electorate, as they know better. Any observer would have thought that they were in the same party.

    It seems that the PM will be assisting them and thinks that the minority of MPs who wish to uphold the result of the referendum and the manifestos can now be ignored. The two thirds of Conservative MPs who are Remainers will also take this line and cooperate with Labour.

    It is time to form a new Conservative Independence party, ready for the next election. It can support the present party with the DUP until then. It will attract support from two thirds of local Conservative members, who can supply candidates in seats occupied by MPs who dislike their electors. The Conservative Party would then emerge in a new respectable form. The new party would attract support from crowdfunding and have to operate on the net in order to overcome the censorship of the media. There are plenty of brilliant website designers out there to help.

  19. Stred
    January 17, 2019

    Sorry. My smart has altered some words while off screen. their and Benn.

  20. Alison
    January 17, 2019

    Thank you. A few months ago Oettinger, the EU’s budget commissioner, said that national insurance should come under the EU. Something for Remainers to consider.

    off topic, thought I’d mention that Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, has been caught on mike saying to another Irish minister, “.. once you start talking about checks anywhere near the border, people will start delving.. and all of a sudden we’ll be the government that reintroduced a physical border on the island of Ireland”.

  21. Original Richard
    January 17, 2019

    A common VAT system would mean the UK applying VAT to food, probably at the standard rate of 20%.

  22. Adam
    January 17, 2019

    We can leave the EU to the duffers who want to wallow in nonsense.
    Each of their moves is more extreme.

    ‘The EU moves to control taxation’ is one thing.
    ‘The EU moves to Mars’ would be a tax relief.

  23. Dannny7
    January 17, 2019

    A timely reminder of why we need to leave properly in a few weeks and why many voted so to do. The noise in recent weeks around “barriers” and “unnecssary boraders” is just that. The real reason I want out, more strongly felt now than in June 2016, is that I have zero confidence in the institutions of the EU and their ideas for the superstate they desire. These ideas emerge apparently out of the blue and are suddenly presented by national (now to be regarded as local) governments as essential, overdue and happen with no visible debate or discussion. In my adult lifetime only Sir John and few notable others have tried to point this out. If other Europen (ex-) countries want to go down this route, that is fine by me. But we want absoutely no part in it.

  24. Turboterrier.
    January 17, 2019

    Why one ask oneself if Sir John can predict, this is the way things are going then it must beg the question. What the hell are all our big business captains doing? Oh look another iceberg goody goody more ice for the gin!!
    You cannot make this up, no wonder they want to stay in.

  25. William Long
    January 17, 2019

    This is why ‘Remain’ are so keen on Remaining: they love the decisions to be taken by someone else. It is however, also a big part of the reason why Corbin wants to Leave: he cannot enact his full horror scenario while we are in the EU and that is why I think he is one of the few sources of hope in this sorry mess that a so called Conservative government has got us into. It beats me how you or any of your back bench colleaugues can have confidence in it. Another opportunity to get rid of the Theresa lost.

  26. formula57
    January 17, 2019

    Let us not overlook the threat that arises from EU tax plans to international peace and security as Ireland’s competitive advantage is legislated away and, in the absence of generous EU subsidies, it becomes a failed state – right on our western border! (At least Greece is a far away country.)

  27. Davies
    January 17, 2019

    Does anyone know if they are using QMV instruments for this?

  28. Wessexboy
    January 17, 2019

    Is T May’s tactic at present to cobble together some form of ‘Remain’ with anybody from all parties who will help? Don’t we know that despite statements to the contrary, a majority in the HOC think they know better than the ‘foolish 17+ million’ and will try to prevent Brexit ? Is there a way of stopping them?

  29. Bryan Harris
    January 17, 2019

    Yet another power grab.

    The EU care nothing for democracy, but care greatly about their ability to make member states stand up and beg.

    Aside from the cosmetic changes, the EU is intent not just on raising it’s tax income, but to create one (financial transaction tax) that will bring money directly into the EU bypassing nation states – When they have their own income what need will they have for national governments?

  30. Martin R
    January 17, 2019

    Sadly we are not getting out of the EU or anything like it, apart from a bit of window dressing. Like it or not Conservative Woman sums up the situation succinctly: “The remainer coup is under way. The fix is in”.

  31. oldwulf
    January 17, 2019

    In 2016 I did a little research.

    As I understand it, when the UK joined Common Market in 1973, the countries of the EU [as they were in 2016] had 38% of global GDP. When the EU formally began in 1993, it produced nearly 25%. In 2016, the EU produced 17%. That’s a fall of 55% between 1973 and 2016 and strongly suggested that the EU was in decline.

    The obvious explanation for this was the rise of the Asian economies. However, the GDP of the USA had fallen by only 22% between 1973 and 2016 so the USA had performed significantly better than the EU during this period.

    I can therefore understand if the United States of Europe wishes to emulate the United States of America:

    One language
    One currency
    One tax system
    One banking system
    One government
    “Free” support for underperforming areas (Germany – are you listening)
    etc etc

    Who is deciding in which order these objectives should be tackled ?

    1. Oldwulf
      January 19, 2019

      I’m told I also should have referred to:-

      One border
      One army

      Anything else?

  32. oldtimer
    January 17, 2019

    Here is a link to the pamphlet referred to above:

    It was published following Monday’s defeat of the WA.

  33. a-tracy
    January 17, 2019

    “but a leaked phone call from Chancellor Philip Hammond to business leaders revealed plans to block a no deal scenario by withdrawing Article 50.” Which business leaders, what nationality are they? who does our Chancellor have to consult in this way, shouldn’t the public know who is pulling MPs strings?
    Before Christmas, I was told by an MP that “withdrawing Article 50” this was the likely outcome.

    1. Original Richard
      January 17, 2019

      Note that the CBI keeps its membership secret.

      So we have no idea who they represent or from whom they receive their funding, although we do know they receive some EU funding.

      We cannot ascertain if the companies they represent are British owned or even have British employees.

  34. Atlas
    January 17, 2019

    “No taxation without representation” was sufficient elsewhere to cause big problems to Empire builders – so why should the EU be immune from this piece of History?

  35. Nigel Seymour
    January 17, 2019

    Notwithstanding Brexit let’s hear it for Gove! WHAT A SPINE TINGLING PERFORMANCE THAT (ALMOST) BROUGHT ME TO TEARS!!!

    In the Times today it pictures our SAS man in Nairobi doing his job…this confirms why I voted leave and why I know this Great Britain and our service men to be the greatest on the planet. Boris Johnson once observed a taxi driver spouting verbal abuse – I was given a similar amount travelling back from Waterloo to Winnersh after the remain rally from a couple of remoaners who alighted at Richmond. If you can’t recall what Boris’s riposte was then check it out! I did the same to my aforementioned travellers…

  36. Rien Huizer
    January 17, 2019

    Mr Redwood,

    You are taking Mr Moscovici’s proposal (a very old chestnut) too seriously. The proposal, as usual, asks far too much. The corporate tax portion will no doubt result in some countries revisiting practices that many see as predatory but not in qualified majority voting. It is more likely that countries with healthy finances (like Holland) will reduce their nominal corporate tax rates whilst widening the tax base (phasing out the letterbox companies that cause friction in other countries) than accepting Commission authority over corporate tax matters. Unlikely countries like Cyprus, Malta and Estonia raising their tax rates or Luxemburg and Ireland giving up their lucrative hosting business entirely.

    VAT harminisation is another issue and for business it would contribute to the single market if VAT were streamlined. That is also to such a great step because the major economies are pretty similar already. So, Moscovici may get 6 out of 10 before he retires in July and unlikely to be succeeded by a kindred spirit but of course with the perennial agenda of tax harmonisation that would benefit the tax men of eg France and Germany .

    But VAT harmonisation would put the EU slightly ahead of the US where states and cities see state/city taxes as a competitive tool.

  37. margaret howard
    January 17, 2019


    ” If we stay in or bind ourselves to their laws after technically leaving we could end up with their new taxes that would damage our businesses and our consumers.”

    Could you explain to us how 40 years of membership have damaged our businesses and our consumers so far?

    Having lived both prior EU membership and after I can assure you the two bear no comparison – from the ‘sick man of Europe’ to the world’s 5th biggest economy in four decades.

    All for nothing now. EXIT BREXIT before it is too late and they will refuse to let us back in.

    Reply As set out before. See blog on big collapse of manufacturing in the first decade of our membership

    1. Original Richard
      January 17, 2019

      “Could you explain to us how 40 years of membership have damaged our businesses and our consumers so far?”

      One example :

      For years the EU has used our budget contributions to subsidise corporates moving factories out of the UK and into Eastern European countries, and in one well known case, even to a non-EU country, Turkey.

      And what about our fishing ?

      Our businesses have been so damaged that we now have a £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU.

    2. margaret howard
      January 17, 2019

      Reply to the reply

      What sort of a reply is that? First decade of membership 40 years ago?

  38. Andy
    January 17, 2019

    We live in an independent country.

    An independent country with an inept and nasty government which steals from the poor to give to the rich.

    A government of mainly rich old white men – and mainly for rich old white men – who are consumed with hate for anyone who does not look or sound like them.

    Our country deserves better than these privileged public schoolboys who were largely born into vast wealth. Few, if any, of them would have amounted to anything much if they’d have been born into poverty.

    1. Colin Bobble
      January 17, 2019

      Which country do you live in then? It cannot be the United Kingdow from that description.

    2. Penny
      January 17, 2019

      “A government of mainly rich old white men – and mainly for rich old white men – who are consumed with hate for anyone who does not look or sound like them”

      Have you just blown your cover?

    3. Edward2
      January 17, 2019

      You are sounding more like Dave Spart with this holarious post andy
      The SWP would seem to be a good party for you to join
      In other news Corbyn and Cable were revealed as 69 and 75 years old respectively, rich white and male.

    4. Anonymous
      January 17, 2019

      Move back to London then.

  39. Ken moore
    January 18, 2019

    Indeed….and she threw away your majority. Why persist with such a dreadful ‘leader ‘

  40. James Barr
    January 18, 2019

    Just read the document. If ever we needed proof that the EU is metastasizing into an empire that controls every aspect of its citizen’s lives, this is it. The UK’s future lies as a free-trading, low tax, sensibly regulated, small government nation, that invests heavily in education and infrastructure, and which is open to those who share similar values and traditions. Globalism does not work. We need to return all decision-making to our own parliament and allow our citizens to forge a new destiny for the country.

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