Tag Archives: UK

UK tax scheme for multinationals: EU opens investigation

All companies must pay their fair share of tax. Anti-tax avoidance rules play an important role to achieve this goal. But rules targeting tax avoidance cannot go against their purpose and treat some companies better than others. This is why we will carefully look at an exemption to the UK’s anti–tax avoidance rules for certain transactions by multinationals, to make sure it does not breach EU State aid rules.” Said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy.

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into a UK scheme that exempts certain transactions by multinational groups from the application of UK rules targeting tax avoidance (the UK CFC rules). It will investigate if the scheme allows these multinationals to pay less UK tax, in breach of EU State aid rules.  The general purpose of the UK CFC rules is to prevent UK companies from using a subsidiary, based in a low or no tax jurisdiction, to avoid taxation in the UK. They reallocate income artificially shifted to offshore subsidiaries of UK parent companies to the UK for taxation. CFC rules in general are an effective and important feature of many tax systems to address tax avoidance. However, since 2013, the UK CFC rules include an exception for certain financing income (i.e. interest payments received from loans) of multinational groups active in the UK – the Group Financing Exemption. At this stage, the Commission has doubts whether this exemption complies with EU State aid rules. In particular, the Commission has doubts whether this exemption is consistent with the overall objective of the UK CFC rules. The Commission’s State aid investigation does not call into question the UK’s right to introduce CFC rules or to determine the appropriate level of taxation. The role of EU State aid control is to ensure Member States do not give some companies a better tax treatment than others. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives the UK and interested third parties an opportunity to submit comments. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

UK: new objectives for continued science success

 

Continued collaboration in science and innovation is an important part of the UK’s future partnership with the EU. This is the message the UK Government is expected to set out in a new paper published today.

The paper on science and innovation will lay out a range of mechanisms and areas for future collaboration that the UK will seek to discuss with the EU as part of the negotiations on the future partnership.

It will also consider areas where there are precedents for countries outside the EU to participate in pan-European programmes such as Galileo and Copernicus.

The UK space sector is worth over £11.8 billion to the UK economy, and employs at least 37,000 people around the country. Our work in the European Space Agency has put Tim Peake in space and is enabling us to explore Mars.

The paper will also lay out projects on nuclear research including:

 

·         the Oxfordshire-based JET (Joint European Torus) which is funded by the Euratom Research and Training programme and supports 1,300 jobs in the UK, 600 of which are highly skilled scientists and engineers; and

·         ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) which has generated over £450m worth of contracts so far for UK business

 

The UK will also continue to collaborate with European partners through international organisations that are not part of the EU for example the EUREKA network that helps SMEs collaborate on R&D across borders and CERN, the European platform for particle physics and the fundamental laws of nature of which the UK was a founding member.

 

Other initiatives where the UK will seek to explore options for future collaboration include the European Medicines Agency and EU framework programmes. The current programme, Horizon 2020, has over 7,300 UK participants so far and has seen many successes through collaboration, including through the Innovative Medicines Initiative and:

 

·  Through the HYFIVE project the UK together with other EU and international partners has taken hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market, moving Europe towards a competitive low-carbon economy and providing cleaner air to all

·  The UK has worked with other EU and international partners to train young researchers to exploit big data through the LONGPOP project

·  Through the PAL project the UK has collaborated to build robots that interact with children to help manage their diabetes.

 

Secretary of State David Davis said:

 

“As the Prime Minister set out in her Lancaster House speech, a global Britain must be a country that looks to the future. That means being one of the best places in the word for science and innovation.

“This paper sends a clear message to the research and innovation community that we value their work and we feel it is crucial that we maintain collaboration with our European partners after we exit.

“We want to attract the brightest minds to the UK to build on the already great work being done across the country to ensure that our future is bright and we grow this important sector.”

 

Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

 

“From space exploration and developing better and safer medicines, to nuclear fusion research, the UK and Europe have a long history of close collaboration to meet the world’s great challenges. It’s in our mutual benefit to maintain this successful partnership, and this paper clearly outlines our desire to have a full and open discussion with the EU to shape our joint future.

“With science and innovation at the heart of our Industrial Strategy and our additional investment of £4.7 billion for research and development, we are ensuring we are best placed to continue being at the forefront of new discoveries, and look forward to continuing that journey with the best minds across Europe.”

 

The UK is a world leader in science and innovation and the paper also states that we want to continue to be a hub for international talent and sets out that it is vital we ensure research communities can continue to access the high level skills that support the science and innovation sector. It will say that the UK will seek to agree a system for continued recognition of professional qualifications, and will continue to welcome the brightest and best after we exit.

 

The paper makes clear that the Government is committed to maintaining the UK’s status as a world leader in science and innovation and strengthening its science and research base, which already includes four of the world’s top ten universities, a world class intellectual property regime and more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the United States.

Brexit: negative impact on aviation and tourism

Top airline and airport executives warned for the negative consequences of Brexit on aviation and tourism in a transport committee hearing on Tuesday.

Airlines will need to make business decisions about where to fly well before the March 2019 deadline, the CEOs warned. They highlighted the benefits that the single market has brought in terms of travel opportunities and jobs and economic growth and the large flows of tourists between the UK and the other 27 EU countries. Passengers will lose out and the EU27 tourism industry stands to lose some €21 billion in business from the UK following Brexit, especially in Malta, Cyprus and Portugal, they warned.

They stressed the need for certainty and said aviation needed to be dealt with as a priority in the negotiations on a future relationship, especially as there is no “fall back” option, which other sectors may have in the form of WTO rules. No deal could mean no flights between UK and EU-27 immediately after Brexit, warned Michael O’Leary of Ryanair.

MEPs asked the CEOs if they thought the UK should continue to follow the EU rules in the field of aviation following Brexit and if there are current agreements with third countries that could serve as a blueprint for a future relationship. They asked if they are preparing contingency plans in case the negotiators do not reach a deal by the March 2019 deadline.

UK to walk away without a deal?

trump-and-may

The UK departure without a deal as a concept appears persistently in different contexts, approaching the date of the triggering Article 50, promised by Prime Minister Theresa May in March, likely before the Treaty of Rome celebrations on the 27th, but after the Dutch general elections on the 15th. The UK officials do not wish to harm the fragile ties with the EU27, and complicate the situation of one millions of compatriots, chosen the continental Europe as their home.

The hostile rhetoric of the EU high officials, especially the Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, and the veteran of the EU project, made many politicians and experts to consider the departure without any settlement as a viable option, shielded by the WTO rules.

The perspective of the free-trade agreement with the US, opened after the visit of the PM May to the White House, makes ‘no deal better than a poor deal’ approach a leading trend.

 

Picture: US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May walking through White House gallery.

 

Polls: Scottish independence at raise

nicola-sturgeon

Support for Scottish independence rose after the British Prime Minister came out in favor of the UK making a clean break with the European Union, a confirmed BMG survey for Herald Scotland .

The survey indicated 49 % of Scots support independence with 51% opposing it, after “don’t know” votes are removed, the newspaper said.

A similar survey conducted last month showed roughly the same result as the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, with 45.5 percent in favor of independence and 54.5 percent against, the newspaper said.

 Scotland’s devolved parliament rejected British leader Theresa May’s plan to exit the European Union in a symbolic, non-binding vote on Tuesday.

 

UK: set to Brexit with or without a deal

uk-eu-flags

Britain will not seek further talks with the European Union if the Parliament rejects the divorce deal with the EU27, the government said on Tuesday, as ministers defeated attempts to give lawmakers more say on the terms of the final agreement.

The statement, which echoes Prime Minister Theresa May’s stance that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain” came as Parliament debated a law that would give  the power to PM to begin Brexit negotiations.

Last month, May promised to ask parliament to approve the final exit terms in 2019, but added  Britain would leave the EU with or without a deal.

The City moves to Ireland?

dublin

Many of British-based financial services firms have already decided to relocate at least part of their operations to Ireland, and others are expected to follow in the first half of this year, Ireland’s minister for the sector said this week.

Speaking at an event hosted by the London Irish Business Society, Eoghan Murphy said Britain’s decision to trigger #Brexit at the end of March had been a catalyst for these moves.

“With the time horizon we now have around Article 50, some decisions have already been made for relocation,” Murphy said, declining to name the companies, or give a number.

Earlier this month Irish finance minister Michael Noonan confirmed Irish central bank had received over 100 inquiries from British-based financial firms considering a move.

 

May bets on talks with Trump

 

Bmay-smileritish Prime Minister Theresa May  will be the first foreign leader to meet new U.S. President Donald Trump, launching talks on renewed ‘special relationship’ between two countries. Reportedly a free trade deal is high on the agenda,  allowing May to strengthen her position during Brexit at home and towards EU27, shifthing trade vector from the EU to the US.

Trump underlined a deal can be done “very quickly”, but he added that the US interest goes first . Trade experts wonder how the two leaders will overcome disagreements over GMO food, meat production and public-sector procurement, and fear that U.S. companies might want to buy into its prized public health service.

May will meet Trump in Washington on Friday after stopping off in Philadelphia to meet senior Republican leaders from Congress ahead of the meeting in White House. Even a warm welcome, and a promise on patching the differenced between two allies can give May a stong hand in Brexit talks with the EU.

 

 

 

 

May to deliver Brexit speech

may-speech

On Tuesday 17/01/2017 Prime Minister Theresa May will deliver a speech setting out her 12 priorities for upcoming Brexit talks with the EU.

Those 12 priorities will include leaving the European Union’s Single Market. May will be also  describing future of the Customs Union, but she alredy confired that  UK will be no longer a member.

The control of the UK’s borders will be the major focus of May’s Brexit concept, the one that makes many observers think that the leaving EU member will go for ‘Hard Brexit’ full force.

(Source: Telegraph)

'Leave' activists push for hard #Brexit

sam_1959

The ‘Leave Means Leave’ group co-chairs Richard Tice and John Longworth launched an appeal for ‘hard Brexit’ in a letter sent to chambers of commerce in the EU member-states, urging businesses of Europe to encourage their national governments for a ‘sensible agreement’, ensuring smooth, uninterrupted transition in mutually beneficial trade.

“Many EU member states export significant amounts of goods to the UK  and the erection of barriers to this trade by the European Commission will have a detrimental effect on jobs and prosperity in a number of EU states, some where unemployment is already unacceptably high,” – says the joined letter singed by  Richard Tice and John Longworth. “It is therefore in all of our interests that trade is not interrupted and that the EU and U.K. secure a trade deal that has close to zero tariffs as is possible.”

The co-chairs pointed at “detrimental effect” of trade barriers for the regular Europeans from both side of the Channel, promoting symbolical near-zero tariffs.

“Businesses across Europe will want trade with the UK to continue as usual after Brexit and any hint of trade barriers by the European Commission will be rejected,” – the authors of the letter insist.

“It is vital that these business leaders make representations to their national governments to ensure that the EU is open for business.”

In this action, as previously the ‘Leave means leave’ activists regret the dogmatic approach of the European Commission towards the free movement of goods and people as inseparable conditionality. The major argument for changing the dogma is the priority of well-being of people of Europe over the rules conceived in the other political context more than half a century ago.

(Source: UK news agencies, Leave means leave group)

« Older Entries