Even the EU's lawyers now say its FTT is illegal

10-Sep-2013 @ 18:0

Syed Kamall Syed Kamall

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

A leading Conservative MEP today called on the European Union to drop plans for a Financial Transactions Tax after it emerged that the bloc's own lawyers have determined it to be unlawful.

London MEP Syed Kamall, a consistent opponent of the co-called Tobin tax, said the EU's leaders should now have no option but to ditch the scheme, insisting: "It had always been ill-judged and ill-conceived, and now it is shown to be illegal too."

He was speaking after the Reuters news agency published devastating details of a leaked 14-page legal opinion which the EU Commission ordered and was delivered earlier this month.

It concludes that the planned tax on financial trading - due to take force in 11 European nations excluding Britain from next year - "exceeds member states' jurisdiction for taxation under the norms of international customary law". It is said to break EU treaties "as it infringes upon the taxing competences of non-participating member states".

Mr Kamall, who was at the forefront of demands that the City of London and the rest of the UK must stay outside any such scheme, said: "The game really is up for the FTT's fans in the Commission and the Parliament.

"Even though Britain is safely beyond its intended scope, the tax is a proposal that fails on every level. It is intended to raise extra money for EU - an organisation which mis-spends much of what it already has. It is intended to fund growth, but in reality would simply drive jobs away from the EU. Its supporters claim it is a Robin Hood tax, now it is outlawed."

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