EU Blacklist Revised

Written by on March 29, 2019

CARICOM statement on revised EU Blacklist of members of the Community

On Tuesday, 12 March 2019, the European Union issued a revised list of countries purportedly not adhering to tax good governance which included five (5) Members of the Caribbean Community, Barbados, Belize Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda.

Seven (7) other Members of the Community have been placed on a monitoring list having made commitments to undertake reforms by December 2019 and are making efforts in that regard.  These are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands.

The narrative provided by the EU Council to support the inclusion of the blacklisted States is grossly misleading and misrepresents the response, in good faith, of our Members since the initial listing in December 2017.

This renewed attack on our Member States’ economic prospects constitutes an infringement of our sovereign right of self-determination in the best interests of the CARICOM people.  Moreover, we are concerned that the EU’s ‘tax good governance strategy’ is beginning to border on anti-competitive behavior targeted at the decimation of the international business/financial services sector in the Caribbean.

 MPs will vote again on Brexit on Friday but it is not clear whether it will be another “meaningful vote” on the PM’s withdrawal deal.

Asked whether the motion would be the “full package”, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said discussion was “ongoing”.

There is speculation that MPs might be asked to vote on the withdrawal agreement but not the further “political declaration”.

Labour said that would lead to the “blindest of blind Brexits”.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said both European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had stressed that the withdrawal agreement and political declaration – outlining how UK-EU trade, security and other issues could work – were part of the same “negotiated package”.

He said to separate them “would mean leaving the EU with absolutely no idea where we are heading … we wouldn’t vote for that”.

The PM’s deal includes a withdrawal agreement – setting out how much money the UK must pay to the EU as a settlement, details of the transition period, and the backstop arrangements – and a political declaration on the way the future EU-UK relationship will work.

Previous “meaningful votes” on the deal involved both the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration but Speaker John Bercow has said he would not allow a third “meaningful vote” on “substantially the same” motion as MPs had already rejected by historic margins twice.

The EU has said the PM’s deal must be approved by MPs by the end of this week, if Brexit is to be delayed until 22 May.

European Council conclusions say U.K. only has to pass Withdrawal Agreement by 29/3 to get extension to 22/5. No mention of Political Declaration. Hidden in plain sight yet again.

Announcing the government’s intention to table a motion for debate on Friday, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said there would be a motion put forward later “relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.”

“The motion tabled will comply with the Speaker’s ruling but the only way we ensure we leave in good time on May 22 is by approving the Withdrawal Agreement by 11pm on March 29, which is tomorrow.

“The European Council has agreed to an extension until May 22 provided the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons this week.

“It’s crucial we make every effort to give effect to that and to allow the House to debate this important issue.”

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