Post-Brexit UK will not slash taxes: Ham­mond

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Paris, France - Bri­tain will not cut tax and reg­u­la­tions af­ter Brexit in an at­tempt to un­der­cut its Euro­pean ri­vals, UK’s Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer Philip Ham­mond said, af­ter pre­vi­ously threat­en­ing to do just that.

Ham­mond said Bri­tain’s eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural model would re­main ‘recog­nis­ably Euro­pean’ af­ter it left the Euro­pean Union (EU).

His com­ments to French news­pa­per Le Monde ap­pear to rule out Bri­tain slash­ing cor­po­rate tax to at­tract global busi­nesses.

It marks a change of tone af­ter Ham­mond sug­gested in Jan­uary that Bri­tain could be­come a Sin­ga­pore-style tax des­ti­na­tion if other EU na­tions blocked ac­cess to Europe’s sin­gle mar­ket.

Ham­mond told Le Monde: “I of­ten hear it said that the UK is con­sid­er­ing par­tic­i­pat­ing in un­fair com­pe­ti­tion in reg­u­la­tion and tax. That is nei­ther our plan nor our vi­sion for the fu­ture. The amount of tax we raise as a per­cent­age of our GDP puts us right in the mid­dle of the pack.”

“We don’t want that to change, even af­ter we’ve left the EU.”

In Jan­uary, Ham­mond told Ger­man news­pa­per Welt am Son­ntag that he was op­ti­mistic that Bri­tain would ne­go­ti­ate a good trade deal with the EU but if it did not se­cure a deal, “You can be sure we will do what­ever we have to do”.

In the Le Monde in­ter­view, Ham­mond said: “I would ex­pect us to re­main a coun­try with a so­cial, eco­nomic and cul­tural model that is recog­nis­ably Euro­pean.”

He also said Bri­tain wanted work­ers from the EU to con­tinue to work in Bri­tain and have a fam­ily life there af­ter Brexit and ‘vice versa’ for Bri­tish cit­i­zens to be al­lowed to con­tinue liv­ing in the EU.

By stress­ing the need for lengthy tran­si­tional ar­range­ments with the EU, Ham­mond has placed him­self at odds with Cab­i­net col­leagues who want a clean break from the bloc un­der a so-called hard Brexit.

UK’s Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer Philip Ham­mond

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