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Some people think the environment is a matter of life and death. They’re wrong, it’s more important than that.

With apologies to Bill Shankly. The scale of the environmental challenge is clear to many people. However, the solutions in terms of decarbonisation divide rather than unite people and states. I am pessimistic about the agreement of measures to provide a measured decarbonisation of the economy. The failure of the EC to get agreement on […]

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Greg Hands: “The power is with us.” The two EU officials who want to punish Britain, crafted the deal – and claim they are winning.

What follows is from my local MP’s monthly newsletter. Greg was part of the Remain campaign in 2016, has been a Government Minister and has significant connections with Germany. So he’s not an ardent Brexiteer. Which makes the following comments all the more interesting and I would say shocking about the process of Brexit. ConservativeHome […]

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An end to the tax veto in Europe

The EC have released a proposal to move to qualified majority voting on tax proposals instead of the existing position where approval of all member states is required. This is not a surprise as the Commission have always expressed frustration that member states can stop tax proposals with their veto. I can see that this […]

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Brexit – A Reverse Norway Solution

On Brexit, I’m not surprised we are where we are and the vote on 15 January. There are probably 150 MPs who want to “remain” in the HoC and they won’t vote for a Leave deal. This means any deal needs to get over 300 of the remaining 480 votes to get through – which […]

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OECD – is populism a response to the OECD failing to follow its own mandate?

In researching some issues on digital taxation I looked at the 2003 OECD paper “Implementation of Ottawa Tax Framework Conditions” which starts with the mission statement of the OECD which repays some attention: “Pursuant to Article 1 of the Convention signed in Paris on 14th December 1960, and which came into force on 30th September […]

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The Digital Economy and Taxation – 1. Internet Shopping and Local Taxation

Much is being written about “digital taxation” at present, but the analysis is conflating three separate issues, digital services, beps and the impact of internet shopping on bricks and mortar retailing. They are separate issues needing different solutions. The principals of the taxation of digital services go back to the late 90s and the Ottawa […]

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Labour, Brexit vs State Aid

The Labour leader gave an interview in the Guardian on 21 December which has largely been covered as his endorsement of leaving the EU. Howls of anguish from Labour remainers have been the response – not surprisingly. What is more interesting, is his focus on the restrictions EU state aid rules would place on Labour’s […]

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The elegant solution – a vote on the Backstop at the end of the transition period

Various solutions have been proposed to the Irish backstop issue in the Withdrawal Agreement, but none appear to appease the concerns of those who oppose the Backstop. The Withdrawal Agreement may be rejected by the House of Commons because of the Irish Backstop. I have to say that I find the idea of regulatory checks […]

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