Posts belonging to Category Europe



Brexit bill: Government loses key vote after Tory rebellion

Parliament is to be given a take-it-or leave-it vote

In a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, MPs voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels.

The government had argued this would jeopardise its chances of delivering a smooth departure from the EU.

Despite a last-minute attempt to offer concessions to rebels, an amendment to the bill was backed by 309 to 305.

Ministers said the “minor setback” would not prevent the UK leaving the EU in 2019.

http://www.bbc.com… Thu., 14  December 2017

EU has serious concerns about Trump 3 tax plans

Top EU economic powers warn US 

The European Union’s top five economies are warning the United States that its massive tax overhaul could violate some of its international obligations and risks having “a major distortive impact” on trade.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, the finance ministers of Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain wrote they had “significant concerns” about three tax initiatives in particular.

In the letter, seen by The Associated Press, the five wrote that “it is important that the U.S. government’s rights over domestic tax policy be exercised in a way that adheres with international obligations to which it has signed-up.”

EU nations have been warily eyeing President Trump’s domestic tax proposals as they made their way through congress and have long expressed fears they might hurt world trade and EU companies in particular.

http://www.washingtonpost.com… Tue., 12  December 2017

Brexit: Divorce deal agreed

May: there will be no hard border in Ireland

Britain and the European Union struck a deal on Friday to move on to talk about trade and a transition period after they agreed the outline of their divorce, easing the pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May. The European Commission said enough progress had been made after the two sides worked through the night to end an impasse over the status of the Irish border that had scuppered an earlier attempt to clinch a deal on Monday.

The Commission gave its verdict in a statement after intense talks, which resulted in British Prime Minister Theresa May taking an early-morning flight to Brussels to announce the deal alongside Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Donald Tusk, the chairman of European Union leaders, welcomed the deal but said London still needed to provide more clarity on the new relationship after Brexit, and bemoaned the fact the first round of talks had taken so long.

“We all know that breaking up is hard, but breaking up and building a new relation is much harder,” he said. “So much time has been devoted to the easier task and now … we have de facto less than a year” left for talks before Britain is due to leave in March, 2019.

http://www.reuters.com… Fri., 08  December 2017

EU blacklist names 17 tax havens

Caymans and Jersey on notice

The EU has named and shamed 17 countries in its first ever tax haven blacklist and put a further 47 on notice, including British overseas territories and the crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, in an attempt to clamp down on the estimated £506bn lost to aggressive avoidance every year. The move was hailed as a vital “first step” but the failure of the member states to agree on any sanctions for those on the blacklist provoked the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici, to concede it was as yet “an insufficient response”.

The blacklist includes South Korea, Mongolia, Namibia, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Guam, the US territory in the Pacific, also features on the blacklist, in a move that is unlikely to endear Brussels to Donald Trump’s White House.
http://www.theguardian.com… Thu., 07  December 2017

Britain and EU fail to reach Brexit deal

Critical moment in the negotiations

Britain and the European Union failed to reach a highly anticipated Brexit deal on Monday despite “significant progress” on key outstanding issues, both sides announced in Brussels.

Negotiators had earlier appeared close to reaching an agreement on the Irish border, the complex and historically sensitive issue that had emerged as a final stumbling block.
But after details of a draft deal leaked, the Democratic Unionist Party, a small but hardline grouping from Northern Ireland that props up the minority government of British Prime Minister Theresa May, said they would not support it.
http://www.cnn.com… Tue., 05  December 2017

UK could pay £50bn Brexit divorce bill

Bowing to EU pressure

The UK has bowed to EU demands on the Brexit divorce bill in a move that could result in the UK paying £50bn to Brussels, in an attempt to get France and Germany to agree to move negotiations to trade.

Non-stop behind-the-scenes negotiations have led to a broad agreement by the UK to a gross financial settlement of £89bn on leaving the bloc, although the British expect the final net bill to be half as much.

http://www.theguardian.com…  Wed., 29  November 2017

Dark clouds gathering on the horizon’ for Britain’s economy

UBS upgrades pessimistic forecast for UK growth

he Swiss bank UBS has admitted that the outlook for the UK is not as bad as it thought in the immediate aftermath of the European Union referendum and that the economy is well-positioned to benefit from strong global growth. While uncertainty about the final outcome of Brexit might weigh on economic progress, the bank did not believe it would derail future economic expansion.

UBS forecast that the UK will grow 0.7pc in 2018 has been upgraded to 1.1pc and the bank believes this rate of acceleration will be sustained into 2019. This is still a fairly negative view compared to other economists. The consensus view is that the economy will grow by 1.4pc next year. The Bank of England thinks it will be 1.6pc.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk…  Fri., 24  November 2017

London loses EU agencies to Paris and Amsterdam in Brexit relocation

Paris won the race to take the European Banking Authority from London

London is losing the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam and the European Banking Authority to Paris, in one of the first concrete signs of Brexit as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. The two cities won the agencies after tie breaks that saw the winner selected by drawing lots from a large goldfish-style bowl.

The Dutch capital beat Milan in the lucky dip after three rounds of Eurovision-style voting on Monday had resulted in a dead heat.

Paris won the race to take the European Banking Authority from London, beating Dublin in the final, after the favourite Frankfurt was knocked out in the second round.

http://www.theguardian.com…  Tue., 21  November 2017

Volkswagen invests $11.8 billion to build China electric cars

15 all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles over the next 2 years

Volkswagen Group said on Thursday it plans to spend 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion) by 2025 to develop and manufacture all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as it seeks to comply with upcoming stringent rules in China.

The group, which includes Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Audi AG (NSUG.DE), intends to launch 15 of the so-called new energy vehicles (NEV) models over the next two to three years, and an additional 25 after 2025, China chief Jochem Heizmann told Reuters on Thursday. China’s NEV production and sales quotas, which must be met by 2019, have prompted a flurry of electric car deals and new launches as automakers in China race to ensure they do not fall short. Automakers that do fall short will be required to buy credits.

Jersey, new Tax Haven for Apple

Tech giant moved the firm holding most of its vast untaxed offshore cash reserve to the Channel Island – after a crackdown in the Republic of Ireland

Tech giant Apple chose the Channel Islands as a new haven to continue avoiding billions in taxes, the Paradise Papers show. The company picked Jersey as an alternative after a 2013 crackdown on its controversial tax practices in the Republic of Ireland, they reveal.

Apple moved the firm holding most of its huge untaxed offshore cash reserve to the Channel Island, allowing it to avoid billions of tax around the world – but has insisted the secretive new structure had not cut its taxes.

http://www.independant.co.uk…  Tue.,  07  November 2017