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Calls for cuts to post-Brexit business costs – The head of the British Chambers of Commerce, Adam Marshall, has said that the British Government should reduce the costs of doing business in the UK in order to offset the impact of Brexit. Mr Marshall said the that UK’s exit from the EU “will create new costs for a lot of businesses that they wouldn’t have faced before,” adding, “Our challenge back to government is: what can you do to help reduce up-front costs elsewhere to help keep businesses competitive?” Boris Johnson’s approach to a post-Brexit trade deal with the bloc, aiming for a more distant economic relationship, will result in a sharp increase in business costs and paperwork for UK companies. Mr Marshall called for cuts to business rates and reviews of the levy companies pay to fund a number of initiatives such as the national living minimum wage and pensions auto-enrolment requirements. (Source: Bloomberg, 21/02/20)
EU demands tax control – Boris Johnson has reportedly rejected the EU’s stipulations for a post-Brexit trade deal, with a draft mandate from Brussels insisting it should retain control over British tax rules and state subsidies. The Mail on Sunday cites a source who says the EU wants the UK to comply with their tax standards and participate in their cross-border tax planning arrangements. A Government source told the Sunday Express: “This is ridiculous when many of the UK’s tax standards exceed those set out in the EU’s Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive.” It is reported that David Frost, the Prime Minister’s chief Brexit negotiator, will today warn that the demands far outstrip terms the EU has struck with countries such as Canada, Japan and Korea. A source said: “We are not asking for a special, bespoke or unique deal – just the same requirements that the EU has agreed with other like-minded countries.” (Source: Various, 16/02/20)
UK was third fastest G7 economy in 2019 – Despite the UK stagnating in the final quarter of last year it had the third-fastest growing economy in the G7, expanding by 1.4% in 2019. France, Germany and Italy, grew by 1.3%, 0.5% and 0.2% respectively. Only the US and Canada, which posted growth of 2.2% and 1.5% respectively, were ahead of Britain. (Source: Financial Times, 13/02/20)
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