multiply - but Britain is losing the right to tax
ministers were really serious about tax and other" red line"' issues
there would have to be an entirely different constitutional text.
Government has suddenly discovered so many " red line issues"
to defend in the on-going negotiations on the European Constitution that
according to rumour there is to be a special budget item to cover the bulk
purchase of felt -tip pens. Ministers
are wielding these furiously as they pore over the text that presented no
problems back in December when its early ratification was said to be in
Britain's interests in an enlarged EU.
the Today programme on the 18th June 2003, however, Jack Straw, the Foreign
Secretary, wielding several red pens in both hands, said that he was "not
going to apologise" for the fact that he was now "batting for
him to apologise?
Mr Straw the red line issues about over which Britain is now said to be
fighting were not pursued with the same vigour in December because the
negotiations were in any case collapsing as a result of Polish and Spanish
objections to the proposals on voting rights.
To put it mildly, this is disingenuous.
For it was not clear until the last minute that the talks - with which Britain had expressed broad
satisfaction - would fail.
Why then is
he 'batting' so unapologetically for Britain now?
the referendum, of course. A No vote
would break the back of any government that sought to win public support for a
constitutional treaty - and failed. So in order to win the vote the
impression must now be given that Labour ministers are fighting desperately
over the red line issues - and winning.
is of course, as Lord Howell pointed out in a debate in the House of Lords on
11th May, that if the Government is serious about its red lines - which seem to
multiply rather in the manner of Falstaff's adversaries on Gadshill - there
will have to be a completely different text.
is what we really want to know: will
they really do these things or is this just talk?
The reason that we are entitled to be a
little cynical about all those promises is that if even half those undertakings
are to be achieved, that will require quite a different treaty from the one in
briefly the issue of tax. The reddest
of red lines has been drawn around tax: Gordon Brown would apparently sooner
die than add or subtract a penny on tax to please Brussels. In the White Paper of September 2003
III-63 of the
Constitution, however, allows the European Council to act by QMV to avoid the
'distortion' of competition. This
would allow the Commission to introduce legislation to reduce any tax advantage
arising from the UK tax system.
without the constitution Britain's freedom to tax as it wishes has been eroded.
Court has already taken unto itself to judge the effect of company taxation and
to rule accordingly. EU Commissioners
maintain that Britain's zero-Vat on kiddies' clothing is illegal.
The French, German and Swedish governments are threatening the Baltic
States with all kinds of penalties for "tax-dumping".
expect to be in line for punishment by virtue of its similarly relatively low
according to AFP on 13th May, Germany and France are to be about to unveil a
plan to harmonise corporate tax by formal means.
And in an
interview with Le Figaro the French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarzkosy (widely
seen as the successor to Chirac)
that France and Germany and the UK are ready to include" common
measures" in their national budgets.
M. Sarkozy these will include measures:
arrange together how our tax systems operate"
as well as
other measures of macro-economic harmonisation.
is a, complicated one, but the trend is clear: Britain is steadily losing (even
now) losing the right to tax. Once the
European Constitution is in place this process will proceed at a faster pace,
but it is happening anyway. The sorry truth is that a parallel process can also
be observed in every other policy area.
VOL 9 NO 16 (28th May 2004)
Daniel Hannan - Forming an OPPOSITION to the EU
WITH THE ONLY PARTY WITH A MANDATE
TO SET YOU
TO RECLAIM YOUR DEMOCRACY DON'T VOTE FOR THE
TRIPARTITE PARTIES IN WESTMINSTER
SMALL PARTIES THAT SPEAK THEIR MINDS
WITHOUT SPIN AND LIES.
Home Rule for Scotland
HOME RULE for
[All underlined words have a separate
THE QUESTION THAT THE VOTER MUST ANSWER
‘DO YOU WISH TO BE GOVERNED BY YOUR OWN PEOPLE, LAW AND CUSTOM OR BY
THE CORRUPT ,EXPENSIVE UNACCOUNTABLE AND ALIEN BUSYBODY BRUSSELS’
-SIMPLE IS IT NOT?