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Fox on Friday: The EU makes a stealthy move towards common European taxation


On Wednesday night, the European Union’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee quietly passed a chilling piece of legislation. It calls for every one of the 500 million people who live in the EU to be given a ‘European Taxpayer Identification Number’, or EUTIN for short.

The official statement released by the Committee puts this move in the blandest terms possible, saying that the system will “serve as a basis for effective automatic exchange of information between member states’ tax administrations”. Yet what the EUTIN amounts to is the ability to track, record and monitor every earner across the European Union. If you receive a pay cheque anywhere between Blackpool and Bratislava, the European Union will monitor and record it.

The European Union has no money of its own, yet it has vast expenses. Over 10,000 EU employees, about one fifth of the total, are paid more than the British Prime Minister (£143,462). Due to the fundamentally opaque and unaccountable nature of the organisation, it is extremely difficult to find out the total staffing and administration costs of the EU, but it certainly runs into hundreds of millions, if not billions, of pounds.

This is the infamous EU gravy train; it is supported entirely by the earnings of EU citizens. At first, the EU relied entirely upon the cash contributions of member states for its funding. As costs spiralled, they added a few percentage points onto value added tax within member states, creaming the top off purchases of everything from biscuits to tampons.

Yet EUTIN goes much further. As the EU demands ever more money to fuel its profligacy, Wednesday’s legislation lays the foundations for an EU-wide direct taxation. It gives the bureaucrats of Brussels the ability to tax every person across the continent at the point of payment, on top of their national tax contributions. In the UK, we pay income tax and national insurance to the government in return for our public services. We get healthcare, education, emergency services, and the protection of the military and police force.  At an election we can change that Government.

Yet in a few short years, the EU will also be putting its hand into your pocket, and making sure that you take home even less of your salary. In return you get no tangible benefits or protection, but instead support a vast and bloated bureaucratic system, who exist only to impose more unwanted laws and taxes from across the sea – and we cannot throw them out as they are unelected.

EUTIN is an outrage, a thinly-veiled attempt to impose supranational taxation on British citizens and nullify our hard-won rebate. Every pound taken out of our pockets is a pound taken out of our economy.

Tied up with EUTIN is new legislation that will prevent member states from setting their levels of corporation tax too far below those of other member states. It is a direct attack on competitiveness, designed to ensure that no country with a large financial sector (such as Britain), can make itself more attractive and successful as a place to do business.

The decisions of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee may seem benign today. Yet they represent a direct challenge to Britain’s competitiveness, sovereignty, and independence. An EU-wide taxation system is blatantly integrationist, yet there is no sign of our ‘opt-out’ stepping in to defend British citizens from this increased tax burden.

The EU has let the mask slip, and given us a glimpse of our future within the Union if we vote to Remain. It is time to stand up to the bureaucratic machine, to stop the EU spending our hard-earned money on unwanted laws and the salaries of foreign politicians. The 23rd of June may be our last chance to stop this disgrace. Take control of your own destiny, and vote Leave.


(Image: Thijs ter Haar)

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Liam Fox
Liam Fox
Dr Liam Fox is the Conservative MP for North Somerset and former Defence Secretary.

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