The UK’s membership of the European Union does

The Economic and Monetary Union ( EMU ) has been planned for several old ages and the European Union authoritiess in 1992 as portion of the Maastricht Treaty agreed to set up a individual European currency. EMU does non, nevertheless, merely mention to a alteration in the denomination of the UK currency. It besides involves the transportation of British economic powers to the control of Central European Bank ( CEB ) . Interest rates will be set by this new ECB for all take parting states, irrespective of the specific pecuniary demands of the single states, with the Bank of England going nil more than a subordinate of the ECB, by simply administering its determinations. The sovereignty of British parliamentary democracy will go progressively powerless, even those economic policies that remain in UK control, will besides be subjected to detailed supervising by the CEB.

Individual authoritiess can still use financial steps, hence, revenue enhancement and authorities disbursement to assist command their economic systems. But some perceivers argue that such steps still necessitate to be coordinated with other EU member states. This can ensue in a future transportation of financial policy determination every bit good as pecuniary to the European Union regulating organic structure. Given such transportation of national powers it is non surprising to see that UK has chosen non to take part and maintain its parliamentary sovereignty and authoritiess remain the chief determination shapers in respects to revenue enhancement, both direct ( Income revenue enhancement ) and indirect ( Value added revenue enhancement ) .

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The ideal of ‘tax harmonisation’ within the EMU is still at an early phase. This is designed to convey into line all member states revenue enhancement rates and policies. The demand for this integrating is based on two evidences, foremost, from a neo-liberal point of position, national differences in revenue enhancement governments and rates represent inefficient and trade falsifying barriers to competition. The 2nd statement for revenue enhancement harmonization is that there must be European control of revenue enhancement and financial policy in order to countervail the ECB’s control of involvement rates and scene of pecuniary policy. Recent sentiment polls have shown that there is really small support for European revenue enhancement harmonization. The current rates of VAT, corporation revenue enhancement and excise responsibilities within member provinces vary significantly as a consequence.

But if the EU ‘fails’ to acquire conformity and harmonization on revenue enhancement and disbursement, does it count? Not truly if there is a balance between ‘negative integration’ ( EU trying to forestall UK authorities from prosecuting in industry protectionism or running shortages ) and ‘positive integration’ ( EU ordinances, societal policies and subsidies ) ( Bale, T. , ( 2005 ) .

Table 1.0: Entire revenue enhancement gross as a per centum of GDP 1973-2001

























United kingdom
























United states






Beginning: Datas from OECD Revenue Statistics, 1965-2001, p.74. Bale, T. , 2005

The changing rates of revenue enhancement within EU member provinces are a staying mean of promoting capital ( holding lost control over pecuniary policies ) , among other things, to relocate to where revenue enhancements are lowest. To guarantee that there state remains an attractive topographic point for foreign direct investing.

EU & A ; UK Direct and Indirect revenue enhancement

Article 99 of the Treaty of Rome illustrates the turning influence of EU in the country of UK indirect revenue enhancement. The dainty called for the ‘harmonisation of indirect taxation’ to guarantee the proper operation of the internal market. UK adopted the VAT revenue enhancement abruptly after its rank into the common market in 1973, and since so has to retreat many zero rate freedom as a consequence of the EU. Therefore, the UK authorities must harmonize VAT with remainder of the EU member provinces by bear downing VAT on children’s vesture and books.

Gordon Brown, at the March 1998 ECOFIN held in York, claimed that the UK ‘s independency and liberty in its revenue enhancement personal businesss was unaffected. He has now been proved to hold grossly misled the state on this indispensable point of British financial sovereignty. [ 1 ]

Therefore, the EU besides has powers to enforce UK to change its direct corporate revenue enhancement policies under the footings of the Rome Treaty.

Case survey: M & A ; S

The instance of M & A ; S vs. Halsey is pulling a batch of attending in the argument of EU revenue enhancement harmonization. M & A ; S has filled a instance against Inland Revenue to the European Court of Justice. The difference is in footings of M & A ; S’s usage of group revenue enhancement losingss ; M & A ; S wishes to countervail its UK corporate revenue enhancement measure via the losingss from its Spanish subordinate. M & A ; S is claiming that the UK corporate revenue enhancement Torahs are know aparting under the Treaty of Rome ( as discussed earlier ) . Under the pact regulations, companies runing within the EU have ‘freedom’ to transport out concern in any member province with out being discriminated by national Torahs. This is the freedom of ‘ establishment’ . The principal besides applies to personal revenue enhancement every bit good as capital additions revenue enhancement for both persons and corporations. Assorted other instances have been filed with the European tribunal and the success rates have been high.


Under the Maastricht program national authoritiess maintain control of their single economic and budgetary policies, while their pecuniary policy is organised by the EBC and the EU as a whole. However, there is a concern that such separation of policies can take to imbalance between pecuniary brotherhood and financial ‘disunion’ . The inquiry of national sovereignty is under menace as highlighted by the M & A ; S instances, the legal community expects M & A ; S to win its instance once more the Inland Revenue. Therefore, it would look that UK’s rank of the EU does significantly act upon the development of domestic revenue enhancement policy. The M & A ; S instance will be a watershed and the accelerator for revenue enhancement harmonization.

  1. Bale, T. , ( 2005 ) European Politicss: A Comparative Introduction, Palgrave Macmillan
  2. hypertext transfer protocol: //
  3. Van Neder, N. ; Vanhaverbeke, W. , ( 1990 ) ( explosive detection systems. ) De Ge Grauwe, P. , The Economicss of Monetary Integration, Oxford University Press ( 1992 )
  4. Armstrong, P. , May/June 2004, ‘Bottling It’ Tax Business,

hypertext transfer protocol: // # search=’EU revenue enhancement M & A ; S ‘

  1. Davidson, I.D. , EMU The Kingsdown Enquiry ( 1996 ) McMillan Press Ltd


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