15 times Tories have said Brexit is about slashing taxes and rights
Sam Gyimah has just accused his Conservative colleagues of “hijacking the referendum result” to push their own agenda. What agenda is that? “To create tax-haven Britain”, he says. That’s strong words from a Conservative MP but it’s not a revelation. Here’s a list of Tory Brexiters admitting their plan is to use Brexit to drive a race to the bottom.
1. John Barron said on 9th January 2019 that Brexit success “is about comparative advantage such as low taxes and more flexible labour market practices”
2. Theresa May told New York business leaders on 25th September 2018 that Brexit Britain would be a “low tax and smart regulation” economy, promising the lowest corporation tax rate in the G20. — Where ‘smart’ regulation means ‘low.’
3. On 2nd October, at Tory Party conference, Jacob-Rees Mogg repeated what Theresa May had said about being able to lower taxes after Brexit and added that we should be doing it right now
4. Rees-mogg had previously talked about lowering environmental standards after Brexit saying, “We could, if we wanted, accept emissions standards from India”
5. At Tory Conference in October 2018, Dominic Raab proposed slashing corporation tax to 10%
6. Dominic Raab repeated the calls to slash corporation tax on 18th December 2018
7. On July 28th 2018, Charlie Elphicke (recently brought back into the Tory fold to defend Brexit despite serious and outstanding allegations about sexual abuse) said, “we can make the UK a more internationally competitive low tax country”
8. Owen Paterson called for Brexit Britain to copy Singapore and become a “low-tax, low-spend, low-regulation” country
9. Jeremy Hunt has joined Paterson in saying the UK should copy Singapore’s model post-Brexit
10. Eurosceptic MEP, Daniel Hannan, in 2015 proposed that Brexit Britain “become Hong Kong to Europe’s China” — and while Hong Kong is a magical place in many ways, it has one of the highest inequality rankings in the world. Poor people literally live in cages and pensioners have to roam the streets raking the bins to make small change from selling cardboard and other materials to recycling companies.
11. Boris Johnson has claimed Brexit means “simplifying regulation and cutting taxes wherever we can”
12. Back in May 2016, Priti Patel advocated Brexit by saying, “If we could just halve the burdens of the EU social and employment legislation”
13. When the EU tried to use the strength in its union to tackle Apple’s tax dodging, Theresa May immediately offered for Brexit Britain to become a tax haven for it and any other major corporation.
14. Philip Hammond, although sounding fairly reluctant, said the UK “could be forced to change our economic model and we will have to change our model to regain competitiveness” when Welt am Sonntag suggested the UK government “wants to introduce the lowest corporate tax rate among all industrialised countries”
15. David Davis admits that his Brexit plans would “continue with the programme of lessening the tax burden.”
That last comment by Davis is important. The truth is that these Conservative under-cutters are just carrying on with Osborne’s “low-tax, low-spend” plans.
It’s classic Tory ideology, and no surprise that the rabidly pro-Brexit ‘Economists for Free Trade’ are led by Thatcher and Major stalwarts: Roger Bootle and Patrick Minford. These classic Tory ideologues link Brexit and low-tax and have said Brexit would mean running down the UK car industry “in the same way we ran down the coal and steel industries.”
As Gyimah says, this “is not what Leave voters in Sunderland or Mansfield voted for.” Brits want the government to halt corporation tax cuts and hand the money to our NHS rather than the other way around. Sadly, with the Tories at the helm, we face a Brexit run by disaster capitalists instead.