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Brexit alliance CRUMBLES as Irish MEP hits out at ‘HARD-LINE EU’ – ‘It is NOT WORKING’


Ireland’s Brian Hayes MEP hit out at the EU over its tax harmonisation

The EU has backed up Ireland at every turn during the process, with particular concern expressed for the future of the Irish border after the UK leaves the bloc.

But one MEP has broken ranks to hit out at the bloc over tax harmonisation – a controversial EU concept which has been met with furious opposition in .

Ireland offers low corporate tax in an attempt to attract foreign investment – something EU heavyweights privately oppose, instead favouring harmonisation of tax rates across the bloc.

Brian Hayes, MEP for Dublin, has taken umbrage at the EU’s “increasingly obvious” attempts to crack down on varied tax rates, accusing the bloc of being “hard-lined” in their approach.

He said: “The EU’s hard-line approach on corporate tax is not working. It is time for the Commission to look at a new strategy.

“The EU’s hard-line approach of trying to force a shift of corporate tax revenue from smaller Member States to bigger Member States is wearing thin on several countries, particularly Ireland.

“For some time, the Commission has pushed for a campaign to reform the EU’s corporate tax system but it is often unclear what practices the Commission is aiming to tackle.”

He said the EU needed to approach tax more openly and transparently and respect the autonomy of smaller states like Ireland.


Brian Hayes has accused the EU of using ‘hard-line’ tactics on tax harmonisation

Mr Hayes said: “Nobody wants a race to the bottom in corporate tax policy. That’s why with clear EU guidelines, we could have explicit benchmarks which member states could work towards.

“This would be a useful way of stamping out harmful tax practices in all member states. It would be a way of addressing why in some member states, the headline corporate tax rate is so different to the effective corporate tax rate.”

He said any attempt to coerce Ireland into accepting terms which damaged its economy or tax system would be met with furious opposition.

Mr Hayes said: “We know our red lines on corporate tax and we will stubbornly defend our right to set corporate tax rates.


Brian Hayes said the EU needed to respect Ireland’s ‘red lines’ on tax

“There will always be various Member States lining up to take a slice of Ireland’s FDI success.

“Much has been achieved in recent years in clamping down on unfair tax practices by the largest of multinationals, and much more remains to be done. But driving investment out of Europe is not the way to achieve.

“Europe needs to remain competitive and open for business.”

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