‘Taking back control’ doesn’t mean embracing supranational taxes

How is it that Britain can embrace international bodies such as Nato and the World Trade Organization, but have such problems with another international body, the European Union?

It may sound like an exam question, but the answer comes down to the difference between supranationalism (when an international body overrides national governments) and intergovernmentalism (international agreement between national governments). The EU is supranational; the G7, Nato and WTO are intergovernmental – members can simply not sign up or withdraw, such as when France left Nato then re-joined. In contrast, it took the five difficult years for Britain to leave the EU, which wanted to keep us in its regulatory orbit even after Brexit.

When it comes to economic sovereignty, control of taxes is paramount – which is why the latest move from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is so alarming. The OECD describes itself as ‘a global policy forum’ that promotes policies to improve the ‘economic and social well-being of people around the world’, but is now drifting towards something else entirely by trying to exert control over sovereign UK taxes.

Of particular concern is the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) framework agreed (apparently out of the blue) at the recent G7 Finance Ministers meeting. Broadly speaking, the BEPS seeks to ensure that multinational companies pay more tax in the markets where they earn revenue. Once agreed by the wider OECD, BEPS would be set in stone by a binding international treaty, deposited at the United Nations and only subject to one vote in the Westminster Parliament. And once agreed it has to be enacted, regardless of democratic concerns – rather like the Lisbon Treaty.

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Πηγή: capx.co

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