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The Isle of Man is not in the UK (bbc.com)
182 points by MiriamWeiner 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 200 comments





Isle of Man has zero percent corporate tax on (most) money earned outside the Isle of Man, which includes money earned in the UK. If you're a non-resident citizen of the UK, you can deposit your dividends from your Isle of Man company in your UK bank account, tax free.

For the time being, IOM companies have GB VAT numbers, and a banking system that integrates seamlessly with the UK one, as well as a postal system (quick, which country is 15 Hope Street, Douglas, IM1 1AQ, British Islands?). This makes the sales process to UK and EU companies painless.

So if you're a British citizen who's managed to convince HMRC you're not resident in the UK, this is a great way to pay very little tax. BUT WAIT, there's more!

If you _are_ resident in the UK, and a British citizen, but you can convince HMRC that you are in fact not _domiciled_ in the UK, you can pay HMRC £30,000 a year flat-tax, and only pay tax on the money you bring into the UK -- so if you keep it in IOM, or send it to Guernsey, it's tax-free, as long as you manage to avoid CFC regulations, which are left as an exercise for the reader.

None of this should be considered as tax advice, although if you genuinely don't live in the UK, and aren't anywhere else long enough to be resident (that DigiNomadLyfe), then the top three points should be of significant interest.

If you think the owner of the Daily Mail and similar glitterati[0] should be paying more tax than a Senior Developer in London, paragraph 4 needs some scrutiny.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_non-domici...


I lived for four years in the IoM, had an amazing time (until Bushy's closed anyway). But in the process, I opened an IoM bank account to pay my salary into. I carried on using this account for years afterwards (it was with the IoM branch of a UK bank). I benefited from not paying any tax on the interest on my savings account, because tax haven. Not a huge perk, but a nice one anyway.

And then, in the wake of the tax haven scandals around 2005/6, the HMRC wrote me a nice letter explaining that, while I had obeyed all the rules at the time, they were retroactively changing the rules and I needed to declare all the interest I had earned on my offshore account over the last 8 years. The final bill came to about fifty quid, so no major damage done. But the lesson has stuck with me.

HMRC can and will change the rules at any time, and apply them retroactively. Getting super smart about taxes, especially by using loopholes and tax havens, can be counter-productive. Unexpected tax demands are not fun.


while I had obeyed all the rules at the time, they were retroactively changing the rules and I needed to declare all the interest I had earned on my offshore account over the last 8 years.

Are you sure they changed the rules? It sounds like they might have realised they hadn't been implementing/enforcing the European Union Savings Directive (EUSD) [1] correctly, and therefore retroactively enforced the rules. Or perhaps they found that the EU rules overrode the UK/IM rules, which were retroactively found to be null and void.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savings_Directive


does it matter? there were some rules, that I was obeying, then there were some other rules, that were retroactively enforced. From my point of view, same same ;)

Yes, I think it does matter. It's arbitrary and capricious if HMRC can change the rules and retroactively apply them.

It's totally reasonable (absent a statute of limitations lapse) IMO for them to go back and retroactively enforce rules that you weren't following once they detect that. (I would even entertain that it would be unreasonable for them to not do so.)


not from my point of view. I don't know all the tax rules (no-one does, not even a specialist tax consultant or a HMRC employee). The different between a rule that isn't enforced and not-a-rule is meaningless. The difference between a rule that isn't enforced and a rule that no-one is aware of is meaningless.

Like I said, I obeyed all the rules, and then one was retroactively applied. It really doesn't matter whether the rule existed before or not.

And yes, all tax authorities are capricious. The stories I heard about the ATO in Australia make the HMRC look like a model of predictable reliability.


> I don't know all the tax rules

Generally, in almost every country, you need to declare your income, including that from abroad.

Claiming that knowing that is in any way equivalent to knowing all the tax rules is massively disingenuous.


This was income earned abroad. The rules are often different for that.

> Getting super smart about taxes, especially by using loopholes and tax havens, can be counter-productive. Unexpected tax demands are not fun.

Sure. However, getting slightly smart about it, and not -- for example -- paying tax in a country you are demonstrably not living in, is probably a good idea.


Unless you’re an American living abroad, in which case it’s tax evasion.

For that, there's FEIE, and moving your residence to Puerto Rico

FEIE phases out at just over $100k for singles, $200k for marrieds, and then you are taxed at the typical bracket for earnings in excess of.

Keeping things in USD for simplicity then converting at the end.

So say you live in the UK, and you + spouse earn $350k USD, UK will tax just under 40%, but lets go ahead and round it to 40%, then the US will tax the $150k at 24% to $315k and 32% to $350k.

So back of napkin calculations, your take home in the UK will be $210k and then you owe the US another $40k, making your total take home in GBP as of today, 140k.


Wouldn't the $40k that you owe the US get wiped out by the foreign tax credit?

It depends on how you are taxed, and in which country you were taxed.

The FTC only applies to taxes that are applied to YOU. So if you are set up through some Limited Company that pays out dividends or other non-PAYE scheme, YMMV.

I tried to keep it simple (overly simplistic, obviously) and specifically to the FEIE that GGP mentioned.

I'm not an international tax law expert, and I'm sure for less than the $40k in my example above you can have someone set up the proper shelters you need to limit your taxation, but the FTC


Can you elaborate on that?

Puerto Rican residents don't pay federal income taxes (unless they work for the federal government).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Puerto_Rico



please expand

What rules were they retroactively changing?

If you're resident in the UK, you have to pay tax on all interest income, and this isn't new.

Were you not living in the UK during the period?

BTW HMRC doesn't make/change the rules, although they do interpret and enforce them.


>The final bill came to about fifty quid,

I'm thinking you weren't really who they wanted to target anyway.


Sometimes it feels like the taxman is very keen on targeting Joe Ordinary who saved fifty quid, and completely ignoring the billionaires who evaded tens of millions in taxes.

It might feel like that but fortunately it isn’t true. People and companies who earn above a certain amount get a ‘relationship manager’ at HMRC and also get classified as low/medium/high compliance risk by them.

I think there are rules they consider ‘intended loopholes’ (like the fact that you can designate a different house your main residence every 9 months and effectively benefit from two primary residence allowances for CGT, or the ability to transfer assets between spouses tax free), many of which benefit richer people/larger companies more than poorer/smaller ones, and others they consider ‘unintended consequences’ which they do go after in a number of ways - all the way through to effectively retrospective changes to the law (like the Loan Charge).


At a guess this might not be far from the truth. For sub a few hundred pound almost no one would bother fighting it. Above a few hundred thousand almost everyone will. At best they'd have to expend a lot of time and money to get a fraction of the original amount back.

My wealthy great aunt paid an accountant to minimise her tax bill. She said it worked out around even, the costs of the accountant were about what she saved on the taxes, but she preferred paying the accountant than the government.

"but she preferred paying the accountant"

Why?

At the extreme, would she have preferred to pay 100% to accountants rather than the government?

If everyone took that view, who would pay for the schools and roads etc? I suppose that wouldn't happen, the tax rate would be increased, so everyone's paying tax and a massive accountants bill, so really the rational move is to pay the tax.


There are a lot of things that government spends taxes on that many of us don't agree with. Better to spend that money employing someone providing a useful service than contributing to fund things that you find immoral, such as fighting unjust wars.

this. exactly. She'd lived through WWII, been bombed by the Luftwaffe, operated one of the first radar stations, and had firm opinions on governments.

Of course, 20% of what she paid the accountant goes straight to the government in the form of VAT.

Then, 20% of what's left goes again when the accountant spends any of it (ok, some thing are zero-rated [books] but on the other hand others have extra duties on top [fuel])...

Then there's the accountant's own tax bill...



Of course, who do you think pays the taxman? Who writes the laws or has power, influence, and money to shape them?

It's not an accident, it's by design.


indeed :) But still a good lesson.

After living in the UK for a year and encountering this tax system firsthand, I'm convinced that one of the main reasons for Brexit is that rich people in England are worried that EU tax harmonization could one day take away their sweet loopholes and convenient neighborhood tax havens.

I've personally benefitted from the system as a "resident non-domiciled" foreign citizen. But on the whole it's not fair to British taxpayers, and it's not fair to the rest of Europe to be a punching bag for this secret agenda whose enacters care more about continued personal enrichment than national or European economies.


> I'm convinced that one of the main reasons for Brexit is that rich people in England are worried that EU tax harmonization

it's coming January 2020, the UK is terrified of it as they own overseas tax havens all over the world.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/anti-tax-avoidan...


That's an interesting bit of information to illuminate Boris Johnson's insistence that Britain must exit by 31 Oct 2019. "I would rather be dead in a ditch than seek an extension," he said.

There’s a constitutional problem with that though.

Most of these territories are internally self governing including in respect of tax law, and Westminster has long since ceased legislating for them. Going back to Westminster acting as a colonial power is something which they are strongly opposed to themselves.


It's not about the UK legislating for them. It's about the UK not protecting them anymore. The UK constantly works to keep them off tax haven lists.

I hear this theory a lot, but the fact is most of the support for Brexit came from low income households, and people in low skilled or manual work. Generally the higher the household income, the lower the support for Brexit, even at the higher income levels.

https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/brexit-vote-explained-poverty-...


Most of the support for Brexit came from tabloid newspapers owned by the ultra-rich.

Polls in the 2010-15 timeframe consistently showed that Britain's European relationship didn't even make the top 5 of issues amongst voters. Consistently fewer than 6% listed Europe as their most important issue: https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2018/12/11/1544504400000/The-onl...

Today more than 50% see Europe as the most important political issue. Yet nothing of substance changed in Britain's relationship with the EU in the past decade. Support for Brexit was manufactured and is draining the oxygen from solving UK's actual problems.


> Most of the support for Brexit came from tabloid newspapers owned by the ultra-rich.

Aren't most newspapers owned by the ultra-rich? Couldn't you just make the exact same arguments you leveled against your political opponents (that they were hoodwinked by "the media") against your own position? At the end of the day, people showed up and voted for something. Twice (basically). That means something.


"At the end of the day, people showed up and voted for something. Twice (basically). That means something."

"Voted for something and it means something" is the portrait of Brexit.

A question was posed to the public but it was never explained properly, and so nobody knows what it means. Did people want a border in Ireland? A third-party status for UK products imported to EU? A separation from European scientific collaboration?

These are just a few of the hundreds of open questions. The UK government hasn't figured it out in three years. Yet the vote definitely means "something", so "something" should happen.


You're changing the topic. The post I responded to was attempting to make the case that consent was manufactured and, thus (presumably), invalid. Do you accept my argument that this is not a reasonable approach to arguing about the validity of the Brexit vote?

What exactly are you arguing? That we shouldn’t examine the evidence of how Brexit became public issue #1 when it barely registered in polls a few years earlier?

The validity of the vote is simple: it means exactly what Parliament decides it means at any time. Referendums don’t become law automatically, and Britain doesn’t have a constitution that could force it (unlike some countries like Switzerland).


I am arguing that pointing to the fact that the owners of right wing publications are very wealthy is not evidence that somehow consent was manufactured for Brexit, since the owners of left wing publications are also very wealthy. Owners of large businesses are usually very wealthy. Doubly so with publishing businesses, which are often unprofitable, and, thus, require a wealthy benefactor to keep operating.

And pointing to fact that Brexit was a non-issue a few years before hand is also irrelevant. There are a myriad of political issues being hashed out now that weren't on anybody's radar a few years ago. This is a normal part of how media and popular culture work.


The only paper I think that actually really made a choice and tried to sell their readership on a side was The Sun. All the others pretty much had pro/anti brexit stances based on their readerships views on the matter.

That's not true. While most voters from low income households supported leaving the EU (as shown in the report you linked), 59% of leave votes came from middle class voters and only 17% of Leave votes were from skilled manual workers. The majority of middle class voters supported remaining, but because there are so many of them, middle class voters also made up the majority of leave voters. This 5 minute report [0] from the BBC looks into where the votes for Brexit came from and how the different classes voted.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOMiUONDLno


I should have said they were the sting demographic.

Skilled manual workers is a very specific, carefully selected sub-group of manual and low income workers, chosen just for the purposes of the narative. Why that specific sub-group? A lot of skilled manual workers are even middle class.

Middle class voters are the majority of voters, so they account for well over 59% of remain voters as well. Manual labour and low income voters made the break though, no other significant demographic was more likely to vote for Brexit.


> I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.

The low income households need someone to blame for their low income.

That's why the super-wealthy fund propaganda campaigns aimed at those folks.

Ah yes the "they didn't know what they were really voting for" argument. Insulting and pathetic.

This Brexiteer response has become VERY old.

Do you really think all the people that voted for Brexit (and those that support Remain) have the capacity to understand all the intricacies of leaving the EU? The entire civil service working on it for the last 3 years barley have a clue. How is someone with their own life and work to manage supposed to find the time?

Brexit will fuck the poor but they are supporting it. I think that tells you all you need to know.


Do you really think all the people who voted remain have the capacity to understand the full intricacies of the consequences of remaining in the EU?

They didn't. They can't have done, because there were at least two conflicting Leave campaigns! The two binary choices of in/out of freedom of movement and the customs union gave rise to four possible options, and I saw all of those being advocated by different pundits.

That is partly why it's been a disaster. No one specific workable proposal has a majority of support.

(Would we have seen "they knew what they were voting for" if we'd chosen the Norway option? Somehow I doubt it)


This is like when people say that all racists voted to leave, and someone pipes up with "I voted to leave and I'm not racist, that's really insulting". You are confusing the direction of if and then.

The referendum was won because people were swung to the leave side by the case made by the leave campaigners. A case full of immediately demonstrable lies. If at least 650000 of those people were specifically swung that way by those lies or anything from 30 years of Boris Johnson's EU fibs, then the "they didn't know what they were really voting for" argument is sound.

This isn't about a metropolitan liberal elite thinking abstractly and paternalistically about swathes of poor people in The North about whom I have only heard through Ken Loach films.

All of the halfwits I knew at school (who I still know) voted to leave (I can tell because they post "Get Brexit Done" memes next to ones about councils banning Christmas and illegal immigrants being entitled to more benefits than pensioners).

That doesn't mean that everyone who voted to leave is an idiot, but if the lies of the leave campaign attracted 650000 more of them than the remain campaign did, then the leave result was artificially bolstered by people who genuinely did not know what they were voting for.


Every single thing you just wrote applies to both sides of any political issue. That's politics: you get out there and advocate for a position and then people turn up and vote (or not). People being convinced to vote for something is not a sign that their vote is somehow invalid. It's literally how the political process works.

> People being convinced to vote for something is not a sign that their vote is somehow invalid.

Not inherently, but being convinced of falsehoods by a propaganda campaign should be of concern.

If you voted for McCain because you believe Republicans have better tax policies than Democrats, I'm fine with that. If you did it because you believe Obama's a secret Muslim infiltrator from Kenya, I'm not.


Both sides have a contingent of voters who aren't voting from a place of cool-headed informed rationality. Thinking that your own side is somehow immune from this is blinkered partisan thinking.

People being convinced by reasoned argument, and perhaps by skilled oratory is how the political process works.

People being convinced by outright lies is not how democracy works. If one side can gain the advantage by telling people that the other side currently forbids them buying four bananas at a time, and be believed, even given the extremely obvious evidence against it, then the system is broken.


> People being convinced by reasoned argument, and perhaps by skilled oratory is how the political process works.

In utopia. But in reality, it is possible to simultaneously hold that many people vote for very stupid reasons, and that their votes should be respected anyway.

Personally I am convinced that there never has been an election anywhere where the majority of voters on all sides were properly informed by facts and not motivated by ideology or outright lies.

Some in the UK imply that the referendum should be re-run because of those lies, just like some in the US imply the 2016 election was illegitimate because of Russian interference. That way lies madness, since every side in every election lies and manipulates, and every election would have to be re-run ad infinitum.


Given that the UK Government doesn't seem to know what was voted for, it's hard to allege anyone else did.

Wealthy folks convincing the poor to vote against their own interests via propaganda has a long, storied history, too.


People sell propaganda like that because it sells. Fear and xenophobia have always sold newspapers. It’s the selling newspapers that they’re getting rich from, Brexit is just a side effect.

When he was a journalist in Brussels, Boris Johnson used to turn up to news briefs and ask his fellow hacks “So what’s going on, and why is it bad for Britain”. The papers cheerfully blame Brussels for outrageous new EU rules, eating away at British sovereignty, er, sponsored by the British government. Johnson even railed against EU transport rules he campaigned for as Transport secretary.

Bashing foreigners is ever green, as a source of tabloid outrage journalism.


This is my main reason for supporting the European Union. Individual countries aren't big enough to have serious power against tax-avoiding corporation/citizens. But the EU is.

like China!

It's about balance. Government and business need to fight and balance each other out

What do you mean - we were always at war with Oceania...

China is a dictatorship.

>After living in the UK for a year and encountering this tax system firsthand, I'm convinced that one of the main reasons for Brexit is that rich people in England are worried that EU tax harmonization could one day take away their sweet loopholes and convenient neighborhood tax havens.

It's the same reason they hate Corbyn with such a seething passion too, and McDonnell even more (McDonnell quipped that he found the "magic money tree"; it was growing in overseas tax havens).


No, they just realise how utterly incompetent Corbyn is.

If he keeps sitting on that fence, his bum's going to be full of splinters...


>his bum's going to be full of splinters...

This particular talking point was kicked off and repeated frequently by the two newspapers who are owned by notorious tax avoiders - mail and telegraph. It then filtered down to the rest of the population.

They're also the two who are most pro brexit.


I have watched Brexit avidly but comfortably from across the pond for the last two years. Every PMQs Corbyn has got up and, in the earlier days, ignored Brexit entirely, and now, he complains about lack of clarity and progress by the Government. While he and his party have never had any clear position on it, by design. The Tories' current position of hard Brexit or bust may be insane, but at least it is a position. The Lib Dems and SNP have one too. But not Labour.

So while this "talking point" may have been noticed by the Mail and Telegraph, it has been apparent to many of us for some time.

If Labour had kicked Corbyn out for, say, Starmer, and taken a clear soft Brexit or even Remain position, they could have long ago taken Government from the Tories, who have obviously badly screwed up everything in Brexit that it is possible to screw up.

On the other hand I am keeping my fingers crossed for the incredibly unlikely event of a unity government under Ken Clarke.

TL;DR: philpem is completely correct.


>While he and his party have never had any clear position on it, by design.

Their position is to negotiate another deal (if possible) and put it to a public vote, and put the existing deal to a vote if not. It's pretty clear albeit not so easy to understand for the perennially simple minded (for whom simple messages like "remain at all costs" and "we must execute the glorious brexit revolution on october 31st" appeal).

Unfortunately it isn't possible to make promises about what will be possible to negotiate with the EU.

>If Labour had kicked Corbyn out for, say, Starmer, and taken a clear soft Brexit or even Remain position, they could have long ago taken Government from the Tories

This is a theory that's quite popular in the London remainer bubble. Unfortunately London forgetting that the rest of the country exists is partly what got us into this mess, and it's not a winning strategy to keep doing it.


> Their position is to negotiate another deal (if possible) and put it to a public vote

That's not really much more information - revoke if the deal is not accepted? What do they actually want from the deal? What is the party's true desired outcome, being in the EU or not being in the EU?

It's very hard to form an accurate picture of Corbyn. I can't think of anything impressive he's done, and he's doing tremendously badly in the polls against a disaster government - but all the media coverage is so heavily slanted against him that I'm reluctant to form a negative opinion that's clearly being indoctrinated into me.


>That's not really much more information - revoke if the deal is not accepted?

If the deal is not accepted, then referendum on may's deal vs remain, and they will campaign to remain. As I said.

>What do they actually want from the deal?

Single market and customs union as per the manifesto.

>What is the party's true desired outcome, being in the EU or not being in the EU?

Soft brexit.

>It's very hard to form an accurate picture of Corbyn

It's really not, but it's really easy to hear on the news that "it's confusing" and form an opinion that "it's confusing" even if it's actually, y'know, not


Watching from the US, I agree that it is unreasonably being called confusing.

However, you are leaving out the part where Labor has said they will end freedom of movement and the EU has said they will not agree to single market but no freedom of movement. So while the Labor position seems clear, it doesn't seem realistic and it is also unpopular with a large portion of the party (as would be any brexit position).

Antisemitism is also a major issue in Labor (not just Labor), although I get the strong sense that fewer UK voters care about that than one might hope. It still seems likely that some people who might otherwise be strong supporters of Corbyn do not enthusiasitically support him because of this.

Corby also seems to have a bit of an authoritarian streak, although it is hard for me to tell for sure since UK politics seem to be structurally more publicly heavy handed from the party leadership than US politics. It seems to affect how he responds to various issues and might make them have more negative effect than they might otherwise.

Another huge issue seems to be the raging battle between the human friendly side vs the business friendly side of Labor that should really be two different parties but can't because of the voting system (same issue in the US). I would agree that much of the vitrol against Corbyn seems to be due to him being on the human friendly side.


As a Brit watching from France, I have been a bit perplexed how the antisemitism issues have kept being brought up in the news. It reminds me a lot of Hilary's email server issues. Yes, there is a problem that needs addressing but it feels like some group is working hard to keep it in the news.

Corbyn and the people around him do seem to have a hardline feel to them. He seems unpragamatic and has had to fight against the more centralist elements of his own party, as well as being character assassinated relentlessly in the press. It's very unfortunate timing given how desirable it would have been to have a strong opposition during the last 3 years.


> the part where Labor has said they will end freedom of movement

Yes, and it is still in their manifesto, live today. That is completely incompatible with the SM. In fact, that is precisely the issue that led TM to the WA that is currently on offer. Barnier's slides, linked above, show exactly what tier of EU association is on offer without FoM. Hint: it is a very, very low tier.

So the idea that JC will eliminate FoM and achieve any agreement substantially different than what TM already got is utter pixie dust.

> Antisemitism

The antisemitism stuff is utter hogwash, as in these days it is 95% of the time. Labour says, maybe Israel possibly isn't treating Palestinians in the most ideal way, and maybe annexing large swathes of territory and building settlements could be less than the greatest possible good. Result: they're antisemitic, want the destruction of Israel, and are basically Nazis. Just like in the US. Heaven help anyone who supports BDS. At bare minimum they won't be allowed to visit the free and democratic country of Israel.


I agree about the deal; I think brexit would look different under Labor but that would mostly be in terms of UK law and less the agreement with the EU. In terms of the future relationship it seems like Labor would aim for customs union plus whatever they can get (as you say not much, although maybe something due to closer regulatory alignment in some areas). The withdrawal agreement seems unlikely to change.

I support BDS but I don't agree that is the main issue with Labor. The main issue I see is bullying personal comments that MPs make to each other and sometimes in public (similar to sexism, also a major issue) and the particularly bad way Corbyn has responded to it. In general, even when BDS is involved it is often the particular language used that is the issue (and many people who support BDS are also antisemitic). Some people argue that BDS is inherently antisemitic, but I don't see that being much of the issue with Labor (or in the US).


> What do they actually want from the deal?

The conventional wisdom is that the party is split between Remainers and Leavers, and that Corbyn himself is a closet Leaver who wants to leave so he can get out from under EU rules on state aid and bring about a glorious socialist revolution.

If this is remotely true, then Corbyn's personal aim is to help the Tories to a no-deal Brexit, or even a hard Brexit under the WA, but in such a way that Labour does not get the blame. However, much of the party wants a soft Brexit or Remain so he cannot be seen to be doing this.

Hence why he does not want, and never has wanted, to obtain Government until Brexit has been sorted (badly) by the Tories, and to come along and pick up the pieces. The entire Labour strategy has been to completely disassociate themselves from Brexit and this latest non-proposal is just a continuation of that.

> What is the party's true desired outcome, being in the EU or not being in the EU?

In short, they do not know and are split. The only thing they agree on is not being blamed for either Remain, soft Leave, or hard Leave. And whoever is in power when the final decision is made most certainly will get blame for any decision taken.


>The conventional wisdom is that the party is split between Remainers and Leavers, and that Corbyn himself is a closet Leaver who wants to leave so he can get out from under EU rules on state aid and bring about a glorious socialist revolution.

More of an absurd conspiracy theory than conventional wisdom, that.

>If this is remotely true, then Corbyn's personal aim is to help the Tories to a no-deal Brexit

Which I suppose he would achieve by passing a law that prohibits the tories from achieving a no deal brexit?

If he truly didn't want that he probably wouldn't have whipped for it.

Wouldn't be the first time his position was completely misrepresented though... and the motive for the various parts of the media owned by tax avoiders to do this is pretty obvious.

>he cannot be seen to be doing this.

How convenient for the conspiracy theory that he does and says the exact opposite of what he truly "wants" to do because he can't be "seen" to be doing it.


OK, I confess that no one really knows what is going on in the mind of Jeremy Corbyn, possibly not even the man himself. What is unquestioned fact is that the party is split on Brexit. Known facts about Corbyn are:

- He has opposed expansion of the EU throughout his political career

- After the referendum, he urged rules on state aid to be jettisoned on the grounds they would no longer be valid after Brexit anyway

- He is a self-identified socialist and is far left, even by Labour standards

My take is that overall, he is anti-EU but has been forced into a publicly neutral or pro-EU (during the referendum) position because that is the position of the majority of his party. What are his precise motivations for this, I do not know.

Thus I read his whipping against no-deal and his new stance on a referendum as more of a forced concession to his party, and as a tool to beat the Tories over the head with, than as something arising out of his personal convictions. Especially because of how long it took him to arrive at those positions. But no one can know for sure.

Keep in mind "no no-deal", which was JC's only position for so long, is not really a position, as pjc50 pointed out. This was made painfully obvious during the series of indicative votes during the spring.


>OK, I confess that no one really knows what is going on in the mind of Jeremy Corbyn, possibly not even the man himself.

It's fairly plain from the people who listen to his words and watch his actions but I can imagine it would be fairly confusing understanding him through the UK media filter. That is entirely deliberate.

>What is unquestioned fact is that the party is split on Brexit.

Depends what you mean by "split". If you mean they actually split - no (bar the tinge lot) - the tory party DID split themselves on brexit though, and they will do again very soon.

If you mean that there are differences of opinion, yes. Like every party they have that. Yet they still have an agreed policy.

>He has opposed expansion of the EU throughout his political career

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10133/jeremy_corbyn/isling...

Note the part that says "Jeremy Corbyn generally voted for more EU integration". If you're wondering who gave you the impression that the exact opposite of the truth was true, the answer is likely "tax avoiders".

Note that the Lisbon treaty was about tax avoidance... not integration.

>He is a self-identified socialist and is far left, even by Labour standards

By European or UK historic standards he is pretty mild. The fact that the overton window has shifted in this country does not make him extreme.

If you divorce personality and ask people about policies... most people agree with Labour's. You'll find that the country is actually "far left". It's why a lot of media tries to avoid talking about his policies and focus on scandal, personality and lies.

>My take is that overall, he is anti-EU

Of course, that's the take that most people who listen to the media and don't look at the voting records take.

>Thus I read his whipping against no-deal and his new stance on a referendum as more of a forced concession to his party, and as a tool to beat the Tories over the head with, than as something arising out of his personal convictions. Especially because of how long it took him to arrive at those positions

He changed this positions largely because circumstances changed. Our relationship with the EU has changed and our negotiating position has changed and sensible parties react to that.

I do wonder why only Labour gets criticized this when every other party has also changed their positions - multiple times.


> "Jeremy Corbyn generally voted for more EU integration". If you're wondering who gave you the impression that the exact opposite of the truth was true

To get a neutral source on this before I posted my last post, I went to Wikipedia, where it says JC voted against:

- The 1975 EC referendum

- Maastrict treaty

- Lisbon treaty

In addition to these very important votes, there are an awful lot of absences and no votes on the link you sent. I am really not sure how that site drew the conclusion it did. If it was simply by tallying votes without weighing their importance, that is a bad way to do it.

I am well aware British media is awful, possibly even worse than US media, so I don't really get most of my information from there. When I do read it, I take it with a huge grain of salt. Most of my opinions about Corbyn himself come from watching him in PMQs and in Parliament debates.

> If you divorce personality and ask people about policies... most people agree with Labour's

Entirely possible and I take no issue with any of Labour's positions except on Brexit. If Brexit weren't happening and I were a UK citizen, I could easily see myself voting Labour. As it is, I would probably vote LD.

As for Corbyn, I was merely saying he was on the left side even within his own party in the current day. You are not wrong about the Overton window but it does not change this reality.


The party hasn't split in the manner of the SDP's creation, but the views are split in the sense that the majority of MP's are remain, but the majority of membership appear to be heavily toward leave.

The whole official stance on Brexit is a clusterfuck, and while "negotiate another deal, referendum and campaign on one side depending on negotiation" may be an attempt to sound pragmatic, it hardly translates into an election winning policy or slogan. Quite apart from which the available wiggle room for negotiating a different deal has been very clearly laid out by the EU from the start. That hasn't changed. That can't change without UK compromise. He isn't getting his supposed left-Brexit.

There we get to the sticking point: The MP's would mostly like to remain, Corbyn speaks of the systemic problems of the EU and the UK would have more options out. Allegedly he was on the remain campaign for the referendum, yet did nothing. He disappeared, and was notable by his absence and silence. Is it any wonder no one is clear? Including those who might vote for him? Including his own MP's?

In historic terms he's not the most left they have been, but he's the furthest left since Foot. He shares some views with Kinnock and probably occupies a place in the political spectrum somewhere between the two. He may not be an old school sixties or seventies Labour Militant Tendency socialist, but he leans old-school left. To anyone of the Blair era, he's unrecognisable. Though that is more that Blairite Labour was Tory-Lite.

Still, despite the awful stance on Brexit, their election policies resonated with the electorate, and were a chance to get away from the dogmatic, idea-free Tory austerity. With a sensible, temporary stance on remain they could easily have been running the country by now. Dogma comes first.

Then politicians ask why people are sick of politics and politicians, and vote for the lunatic options.


> Their position is to negotiate another deal (if possible) and put it to a public vote, and put the existing deal to a vote if not.

Yes, but even this very unclear proposition is a recent invention (last 3 months IIRC). Before that they had nothing. For 2+ years.

> Unfortunately it isn't possible to make promises about what will be possible to negotiate with the EU.

True enough -- to a point. But he could say what the general outline of the UK's goals in the negotiations will be and how the strategy/objectives/redlines will differ from TM's and Boris's.

At this point without specifics, we can all be forgiven for assuming it is more unicorn horns and pixie dust. Does "I'm going to go to Brussels and get a deal, a great deal" sound at all familiar by now? I am surprised anyone buys it at this point.

He cannot say for certain how the EU will respond to any proposal, although honestly Barnier has been crystal clear about what is required of the UK and what the options are.

And does Corbyn even know the difference between the Single Market and Customs Union? I have seen no indication that he does.

> Unfortunately London forgetting that the rest of the country exists

Going for a soft Brexit would be a compromise between the rural areas of England and Wales, who want to leave the EU entirely at any cost, and Scotland and NI (and Gibraltar), who want to remain. I would say it is the strategy that takes most into account the rest of the country in its entirety.

Whether or not such a stance would be to Labour's electoral advantage is anyone's guess. They have apparently concluded it would not be.

In fact the EU has been essentially forcing England to listen to the rest of the country -- NI, specificially. Which is quite ironic.


>Before that they had nothing. For 2+ years.

This is simply not true. They made it perfectly clear that they wanted a deal with the customs union and single market.

>True enough -- to a point. But he could say what the general outline of the UK's goals in the negotiations will be and how the strategy/objectives/redlines will differ from TM's and Boris's.

Could and did. The media has done a grand job of obfuscation about this despite the fact that it was right there in the manifesto.

>He cannot say for certain how the EU will respond to any proposal, although honestly Barnier has been crystal clear about what is required of the UK and what the options are.

What Barnier has been less clear about is whether they are prepared to negotiate a new deal at all after May's deal. The EU actually has flip flopped on that issue and its mind probably still isn't made up even now.

>And does Corbyn even know the difference between the Single Market and Customs Union? I have seen no indication that he does.

I suppose you have seen an indication that he doesn't?


> They made it perfectly clear that they wanted a deal with the customs union and single market.

I see. How does this square with whipping against the SM and CU in 2017? How is declaring an intention to "keep the benefits" of SM and CU without being in them anything but unicorns in light of Barnier's very clear explanations on the matter?

I am trying to find a clear timeline of Labour's ever-changing positions on these matters. [1] is the best I've found so far. What I can say is that after watching PMQs almost every week I found his position anything but clear.

But possibly I can agree with you so far as to say that it is not so much that Labour has had NO position whatsoever, as that their position has changed every 3-6 months and none of those positions were ever very fleshed out with detail.

> What Barnier has been less clear about is whether they are prepared to negotiate a new deal at all after May's deal. The EU actually has flip flopped on that issue and its mind probably still isn't made up even now.

I agree with this. In my reading, Barnier wants the WA to be accepted as is if possible, but would probably reopen negotiations if Labour took power. But it is indeed unclear.

> I suppose you have seen an indication that he doesn't?

Yes, for the longest time he was talking about a CU (THE CU? or something else, unclear...) and not mentioning the SM. Numerous public statements which I can find if requested. As in, for example, Clarke's proposal during indicative votes. This is nonsensical because a CU without the SM does virtually nothing.

[1] https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-corbyns-ch...


We have a divided country, and the only party capable of bridging the gap is Labour. The Tories position is as divisive and unhelpful as the Lib Dem's.

I'm not a particular Corbyn fan, but I'd like an intact nation at the end of this.


Corbyn's plan is to destroy the economy in the name of achieving fairness. We'll all be equally poor.

"I'm convinced that one of the main reasons for Brexit is that rich people in England"

Brexit (when it gets around to happening) is the result of a referendum. ~48% of the voting electorate are not all English and rich.


'Resident but not domiciled' is a very old system in the UK based on things like which country you have purchased a burial plot in. It's kept around because its a handy way to persuade oligarchs to live in the UK: they only get taxed on non UK income if they bring it into the UK, otherwise its tax free.

It was reformed several years ago to make it very hard for actual UK people to use. It is very difficult to give up UK domicile, and even if you manage to (by proving you no longer have any links) then HMRC will deem you UK domiciled anyway if you ever become UK tax resident. People who've been resident in UK for too many years are also deemed UK domiciled now.


> then HMRC will deem you UK domiciled anyway if you ever become UK tax resident

This appears to be not true in practice, reading the list of notable people with non-dom status.


The rules only changed in the 17/18 tax year. Also most prominent non doms have never previously been UK domiciled (eg the Goldsmith family have inherits non dom status for generations) or currently live and are tax resident abroad.

> For the time being, IOM companies have GB VAT numbers, and a banking system that integrates seamlessly with the UK one, as well as a postal system (quick, which country is 15 Hope Street, Douglas, IM1 1AQ, British Islands?). This makes the sales process to UK and EU companies painless.

I bet that's been used for VAT fraud with EU companies.



How would that be easier than VAT fraud in the UK proper?

"Carousel fraud", involving moving goods in and out of the EU and reclaiming VAT, maybe? Or the private jet / yacht scheme I mentioned above.

I remember when Amazon shipped all their CDs from Jersey to avoid VAT too.


Not just Amazon either.

Play.com based their entire business on this.


The more complex steps it has, the harder to investigate.

Can you actually use the money while you're not living in UK?

To use a simple example, say I'm a British citizen living in the US who is a freelancer (let's assume I'm non-resident, not just non-domiciled). Let's say I have US citizenship as well to get around any immigration issues. I create a company in the Isle of Man (assume I meet whatever qualifications are needed to do this). Can I just deposit my checks in the UK bank account, pay no taxes, and use the money in the US without violating any British laws? What about when traveling to the UK or EU? I'm almost sure I'd be violating American tax law, but I'm now curious how to put this into practice.


> Can I just deposit my checks in the UK bank account, pay no taxes, and use the money in the US without violating any British laws? What about when traveling to the UK or EU?

Yes, but this isn’t particularly surprising — I’d expect it to work the same way everywhere. The Brits would love you to deposit your money into their banking system, and if you’re not resident in the UK and the income hasn’t arisen in the UK there’s no tax basis for it there.

In your scenario, the problem is American CFC rules, where they’ll effectively declare your IOM company to be an American company, and tax it on that basis. Also if you’re tax resident somewhere (the US in your example), they’ll usually tax your worldwide income (although jurisdictions vary). Finally, though, if you’re an American citizen, it doesn’t matter where you’re tax resident, you still owe the IRS.


Yea, I knew that American tax law has provisions that (in theory) protect against this being legal.

Do professional athletes in Europe become resident in the Isle of Man at all? I know they use Monaco in somewhat similar manner.


HMRC: Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HM Revenue and Customs or HMRC)[3] is a non-ministerial department of the UK Government responsible for the collection of taxes, the payment of some forms of state support and the administration of other regulatory regimes including the national minimum wage.

[flagged]


I guess the tax payer will be happy not to use any of the infrastructure and services their tax money pays for if they don't pay taxes?

The concept of “owing” money to people comes in part from the consequences if they are not paid, including use of force. The concept of a country is in large part due to the area in which force can be applied to ensure people pay taxes, in return for services including security.

It's also worth pointing out that the same sets of rules backed by use of force are integral to ensuring that companies and property exist, contracts get fulfilled and so people get paid the salary in the first place and get to keep the possessions they buy with it.

UK and tax havens have a long history. It is pretty sad and tells a lot about the quality of information in UK that most British people do not know about ATAD: Anti Tax Avoidance Directive, a EU attempt to crack down on tax havens, which will come in effect on 1st of Jan 2020.

Thanks to Brexit, UK will secure its tax havens, to the benefit of very few and to the detriment of many...

See https://www.taxjustice.net/2019/01/23/brexit-and-the-future-... for some more info.

[Edit: corrected the date]


Whenever the voters vote the wrong way the EU subverts it with the result in effect being overturned in one way or another, so the UK will probably end up staying in and this ATAD will be implemented.

For those downvoting, there is truth in this e.g.:

* Ireland voting (twice) on the Nice Treaty - 2001 then 2002

* Denmark voting (twice) Maastricht Treaty - first 1992 then 1993

* Ireland (again) this time on the Lisbon Treaty - 2008 then 2009

There was also a case where the Labour government (in the UK) promised a referendum on a couple of EU treaty changes, before changing their mind after other countries' referendums voted them down, and just ratified it in parliament instead: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Consti...


The treaties changed between the votes though. So a more sympathetic reading would be, the treaties were voted down so had to be changed - then the new treaties were acceptable and voted for.

(I don't even necessarily think a second vote on an unchanged treaty would be unacceptable, if there was reason to believe people had changed their minds).


Denmark still has 4 opt-outs from EU because of the Maastricht treaty vote. Abolishment of these is regularly discussed as part of Danish politics.

https://english.eu.dk/en/denmark_eu/danishoptouts


Had Cameron taken this approach, things could have worked out OK for the UK. Every one of those involved renegotiation and change of treaties before a re-vote.

The timeline could have been:

Cameron attempts to renegotiate with EU, achieves little.

Calls a referendum, leave achieves a very narrow margin.

Cameron doesn't resign, but attempts to renegotiate with the EU, achieves some small but significant improvements.

Second referendum, this time for remain.

UK and Cameron would still have some reputation.


Good point - I agree, and I'm really disappointed it didn't play out like that.

Instead the UK has had political stalemate for 3.5 years and even now it doesn't look like we're closer to 'a deal'.


No, we're stuck with a "government" that's lost every vote they called, and a no-deal crash out looks the only option. Realistically that was always the only option without moving some of those infamous "red lines", or accepting Theresa May's deal. I don't see room for anything else.

So the no-deal that was explicitly ruled out during the referendum campaign. The Swiss invalidate referendums when the electorate haven't been given correct information.

What a mess.


I have found the best source of information about Brexit, although it certainly has its own bias, to be eureferendum.com . They have long advocated for Efta/EEA membership as the first move for the UK before gradually disentangling from EU directives.

IMV (I'm not British) the only sane option was some form of soft Brexit. Which was the only way to avoid most of the economic damage and also prevent hordes of Leavers with pitchforks. But the damage was done at Lancaster House which made immigration a red line. Theresa May concluded that Leavers wouldn't consider anything without immigration control to be a real Brexit, thus implicitly agreeing with the idea that the referendum passed because of immigration.

And now you have a neverending shitshow as a result. So I mostly agree, but there was a window of opportunity for TM to sell a soft Brexit. She opted not to.


See this is where it gets truly silly. You may not be wrong about some form of soft-Brexit, or EEA status, but whichever level of closeness you consider that is not "hard Brexit" would have required dropping one of the UK's "red line" issues. Anything else that was not Theresa May's deal needed the EU offering cake and cookies for free. It wasn't so much she couldn't sell it as the hardliners of the Tory party wouldn't take it. For 3 years the UK's negotiating position has been "la, la, la, not listening", whilst asking for the impossible (or cake).

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator summarised it all beautifully in a single slide he put out in about 2016 or 17. Each level of softer Brexit available is ruled out by a UK red line.

Should you want a breakdown, CGP Grey did a short video about "that slide". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agZ0xISi40E


Yes, I've seen that slide. In fact, it was exactly what I had in mind when I said to pytester below that "Barnier has been crystal clear about what is required of the UK and what the options are". Certainly you are right about what has been the Tory negotiating strategy.

I meant, however, that she could have attempted to sell it to the hardliners in her party or, more likely, cross-party as described below. None of the red lines were inevitable, because no one knows why Leave won. Some say immigration, some say sovereignty, ECJ, payments that could "fund our NHS", and myriad other things. Some in Labour are even said to have supported it to get around state aid rules.

So there was a fundamental lack of clarity what the referendum had actually meant shortly after it passed. That was TM's window of opportunity to show some leadership and choose an interpretation of the referendum that could command majority support.

If she had presented a soft Brexit agreement to the house, yes, she would have thrown the DUP and ERG under the bus, but she also would have put Labour, LD, etc into an extremely difficult position. At the time, they all said "we should respect the referendum". If they had rejected a soft WA the blame would be all on them instead of, as it is now, on the Tories. She would have faced accusations of being a closet Remainer, but she got that anyway.

I am convinced everyone hates the DUP and very few like the ERG. Instead of tossing them, the Tories toss Ken Clarke and Nick Soames? Sounds like a bad plan.


You're right. You're entirely right with every word. But politics.

Cameron originally offered and called the referendum expecting a win for remain, to put the Tory lunatic fringe back in the box for a generation. They campaigned terribly, remain lost. So much for putting the hardliners back in line, they were brought front and centre, fed and given a spotlight. Michael Heseltine wrote a good piece about this a year or three back, I forget where. Guardian or FT probably.

The DUP are seriously unpleasant, so it's only necessity that brought them in to prop up a majority-free Tory government. Even then it was a surprise.

Selling a soft-exit deal to those hardliners probably needed not losing the campaign. TM being charisma free and terrible at presentation didn't help. The Tories haven't been good with leaders lately. Yet I don't think anyone could have sold the soft-Brexit deal to the ERG. It would interfere with shorting UK plc with their overseas funds. :)

Labour? Bizarre. They have been unable to take a stand, or we wouldn't be in this mess. Most of the party are remain. They could have voted through any deal at any time. Yet their official stance is "it depends, maybe". They were told to vote against TM's deal. So throwing the ERG under the bus still wouldn't have got enough votes to win.

At heart Corbyn wants Brexit, but some sort of undefined and unexplained lBrexit - leftwing-Brexit - that recreates his view of former 1960s politics. Or something. He avoids explaining. Schrodinger's lBrexit: It's unknowable. :)

Bizarre because on the rest of their policies they damn near got elected, and found much sympathy with voters. A remain Labour could have been running the country by now.

As for losing Churchill's grandson, Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine (now publicly a LibDem voter), and the rest: The acceptable face of the Tory party is gone. For doing what Johnson and the ERG did under May dozens of times. They have kept and become the hardline fringe. Perhaps not yet, but I think they will come to bitterly regret that.

Idiocy everywhere.


> Cameron originally offered and called the referendum expecting a win for remain, to put the Tory lunatic fringe back in the box for a generation. They campaigned terribly, remain lost...

All true, but even then there was the opportunity for spin, especially because Cameron resigned. TM could have said, "I respect the need to leave the EU, but we can't just ignore the needs of Scotland and NI (not to mention business, in the days before fuck business). So we'll do a compromise soft Brexit reflecting the 52/48 vote. It was made clear that Leave didn't mean leaving the SM. Also, David Cameron is an idiot." She didn't.

> Labour? Bizarre. They have been unable to take a stand, or we wouldn't be in this mess. Most of the party are remain. They could have voted through any deal at any time. Yet their official stance is "it depends, maybe".

Tell that to pytester below. I have no idea how anyone could be watching Labour and think that they have ever taken a clear stand this entire time, but apparently, some people do buy into this "kinda-sorta SM and CU but not the actual thing" and "second referendum? uh, no, maybe, yes but we'll be neutral" stuff of Corbyn's.

Labour may well have some good policies, and my wife and her far left American friends think Corbyn walks on water, but they have been punished severely in the polls for this lack of clarity. How could anyone think Corbyn is a good leader when his party is doing so horribly in the polls despite ongoing Tory fuckups is also beyond me.

If the thought process in the UK is anything like the US, presumably staunch Labour supporters simply chalk it up to the 40+% of Tory voters being ignorant, bigoted rednecks. Just as an honest person has to ask some hard questions of Hillary Clinton for losing to Donald Trump, anyone who can lose to BORIS JOHNSON needs to find another job.


Well again I am not going to disagree much.

I don't think TM could have pulled that off. At all. I suspect that Rees-Mogg, the ERG and other fools gallery (BoJo etc) felt their prey had been weakened after referendum, so could push right for hard exit. I'm not nearly stratospherically wealthy enough to understand why that is quite so appealing for the vastly moneyed. It seems like it would come with downside for them too, or maybe they'll all be asset stripping the bankruptcy sale from Cannes.

So where do the votes come from to make up the gap? Labour is dogmatically voting against, SNP are firmly remain, LibDems have no one left, so without Labour or ERG support it's not happening.

Labour have taken a remarkable manifesto that even I could mostly support, a decent election resurgence, an electorate firmly in favour of many of the ideas, and turned it into a huge trail in the polls to the worst government and PM's since Lord North (That minor difficulty in 1776). That's quite an achievement!

Among the Labour supporters I know, the opinion of Corbyn varies wildly. He achieved a remarkable election campaign, and achieved worse than nothing in opposition. He seems terrible in the Commons. Some think his electioneering will swing it come election, as many think he should be replaced before we get 5 years of BoJo (heaven help us).

A cold restart of the system seems to be in order. Bring it back with proportional representation. :)


I love how many people in the UK talk about fundamental changes of the voting system like PR. In the US such a thing would require a constitutional amendment and would therefore be utterly impossible, particularly since the Republicans and Democrats would stand to lose from it. But you don't have a written constitution, so...

But still, even if you got PR, then you'd have a substantial percentage of Brexit Party people in Parliament, making the UK even more of a laughingstock. Doing the same sorts of shit they do in the EU Parliament. And Greens and so forth. Sure that's what you want? I can see pros and cons to it, it is just interesting there is such desire for reform.


I don't think a renegotiation after the referendum could possibly have achieved anything. Discourse about the EU in the UK is not based on facts. The EU would never have given compromises on freedom of movement, or the single market, and there wasn't anything else specific that people were asking for.

It may not have achieved much at all, certainly nothing on freedom of movement, but like previous treaties he could have come back with something.

With a negotiating stance of "they just voted out, what can we give to avoid this?", I am sure some package that didn't compromise the aims of the EU too far, or cost billions, could have been worked out.

Now, whether a second referendum would have swung back to remain, now I'm clueless. :)


UK economy at least seems in rude health overall, so reputational damage doesn't seem to have affected business.

> Ireland (again) this time on the Lisbon Treaty - 2008 then 2009

It wasn't just a straight re-vote through. Selected reasons for voting no, according to The Times (bearing in mind it was only 53:47 to no):

> Protect neutrality - 10%

> Keep commissioner - 10%

> Protect tax system - 8%

And according to Gallop (for the European Commission):

> To safeguard Irish neutrality in security and defence matters - 6%

> We will lose our right to have an Irish Commissioner in every Commission - 6%

> To protect our tax system - 6%

> It would allow the introduction of European legislation in Ireland, such as gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia - 2%

Consequently, The European Council agreed that:

> the necessary legal guarantees would be given that nothing in the Treaty of Lisbon made any change of any kind to the Union's competences on taxation for any member state;

> the necessary legal guarantees would be given that the Treaty of Lisbon did not prejudice the security and defence policy of any member state, including Ireland's traditional policy of neutrality;

> the necessary legal guarantees would be given that neither the Treaty of Lisbon (including the Justice and Home Affairs provisions), nor the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, affected the provisions of the Irish Constitution in relation to the right to life, education and the family in any way;

> in accordance with the necessary legal procedures, a Decision would be taken to retain Ireland's Commissioner, provided that the Treaty of Lisbon was ratified;

> the high importance attached to issues including workers' rights would be confirmed.


Do you mean 1st of Jan 2020?

Sorry, my mistake. Jan 2020 indeed!

this is possibly the real reason why the right wing press are/have been banging the brexit drum so hard.. tax havens...

That would certainly explain their position and also the kind of persons who are pushing for No Deal.

Are you sure it's not to the detriment of very few? How many UK citizens are able to take advantage of said tax havens?

Edit: I misunderstood


It is to detriment of all the people that miss out on those tax dollars that should be paid.

"And speaking of finance, the island has no capital gains tax, stamp duty or inheritance tax, making it an enticing prospect for many."

This one sentence sums up why the Isle of Man exists the way it does. What a puff piece.

Britain/UK/whatever are full of these little places to hide your money. That's all this is. Yet another crowny thing that allows the rich to avoid paying their due in an undemocratic society.


Yep there's plenty of fun little offshore places if you're so inclined. However we also have an onshore tax haven of sorts - the City of London: https://www.newstatesman.com/economy/2011/02/london-corporat...

This article is a really fun read, but it is fundamentally mendacious: the City is not, in fact, a tax haven. You can't dodge tax, as a person or a company, by moving to the City, or being involved with the City in some special way.

There are certainly people in the City who will help you move your money into tax havens. But then there are people in Loughborough who will do that, and we don't describe Loughborough as a tax haven.


This was a great read, thank you.

How do you separate avoidance of tax with competition between taxation venues? The IOM (and other small jurisdictions) cannot compete with larger countries on manufacturing and other big industry, but their small size and low cost of government allows them to be very competitive with Tax. If an individual is able to move his finances out of a country to a more competitive jurisdiction, isn't' that the fault of the original country rather than the more competitive one?

> If an individual is able to move his finances out of a country to a more competitive jurisdiction, isn't' that the fault of the original country rather than the more competitive one?

If the "competitive jurisdiction" allows people to "move their finances" there without actually living or doing real business there, then that "jurisdiction" is in fact a parasite.


Indeed, and the countries that want that money can use force and other means of persuasion to take it. International law is a farce.

“The strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.”

The US or other Great Powers can force less powerful countries to do what they want, when they want to. If that’s protecting the holdings of US companies in Latin America or dictating the tax policies of other countries the disrespect for other’s sovereignty is the same.


>> If an individual is able to move his finances out of a country to a more competitive jurisdiction, isn't' that the fault of the original country rather than the more competitive one?

You don't understand how secrecy works. A simple way to evade tax is to set-up a company in the tax heaven and send "fake" bills or loans to the real company. Without cooperation of the tax heaven country there is little the on-shore country can do except to black-list the said tax heaven from the financial market. As it happens special interests groups from the UK opposed a black-list of Isle of Man or Virgin Island.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/05/eu-blacklis...


This is an incredible documentary about British tax havens and the influence of the City of London in the running of UK government & foreign policy https://youtu.be/np_ylvc8Zj8

I agree, this is well worth watching.

This isn’t how the IOM’s status came to be, though. Man has been an independent state for longer than the UK has existed. Now, the question is could it realistically exist without the support of the UK? We could ask the same question of San Marino and Italy or Andorra and France/Spain.

IOM as it is today, though, is unusually able to be influenced by its wealthy residents. I once heard a very wealth individual say he moved there not for the tax benefits but because he could have greater influence over the government in such a small nation.


> It’s also not part of the European Union, but is within the EU Customs zone.

As opposed to the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, which is within the European Union, but outside the EU Customs area (until Brexit, at which point it leaves the EU too).

The political status of British territories and dependencies is... _complex_.


... and the sovereign military bases in Cyprus, which also get mentioned in the treaty discussions and full titles.

I wondered how Gibraltar was outside the customs union; at time of UK joining, not only was Spain not in the EU, it was still a fascist dictatorship. https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Gibraltar-opt-out-of-the-EU-Cu...


I don't have an answer to your question but calling that EU is, historically inaccurate at best.

"During the 1950s the regime also changed from being openly totalitarian and using severe repression to an authoritarian system with limited pluralism. Spain joined the United Nations in 1955 and during the Cold War Franco was one of Europe's foremost anti-communist figures: his regime was assisted by the Western powers, and it was asked to join NATO. Franco died in 1975 at the age of 82." [1]

At that point (1975) there was no such thing as the EU (it was called EEC [2] (EEG in my language), and very different from what the EU is today). There where still customs between all members of EEC, except Belgium and The Netherlands. I know this because in the 80s we traveled regularly from The Netherlands to Brussels where my aunt lived as a diplomat for the EEC, while we also bought fuel in Germany which was cheaper than The Netherlands (and there was customs there).

The Wikipedia page of EEC [2] is a recommended read if you want to know more about the predecessor of the EU. Apparently, Spain joined in 1986. We went to vacation to Spain multiple times in my youth, including after 1986. We had customs checks. We also had these in France. And we had to take French Francs with us, as well as Spanish Pesetas. I even remember paying with Italian Liras at one point in 90s (1996?) and I felt very rich!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francoist_Spain

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Community


But relevantly, the EEC laid the foundations for the customs union well before it transitioned to becoming the EU, which is what GP is interested in. The EU customs union is separate from the borderless arrangements of the Schengen Area - the UK is part of the customs union but still has border checks - and of course back in the EEC days it wasn't as complete as the EU customs union is now.

Of course Gibraltar joined the EEC back when the UK did...


”There where still customs between all members of EEC, except Belgium and The Netherlands”

Nitpick: and Luxembourg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benelux)


"The political status of British territories and dependencies is... _complex_."

Why is how (sadly false) ideas start like Berwick Upon Tweed still being engaged in a multi-generation life and death struggle with the Tsar's Russia:

https://notesfromtheuk.com/2019/02/15/is-berwick-upon-tweed-...


CGP Grey has a great video: "The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained" which covers a lot of this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10


Argh, and I thought Switzerland was confusing (though as a completely sovereign country it may still be near the top). These are on a whole different level.

And of course there's "Big Clive" who is probably familiar to many of the people here. He lives on the Isle of Man and frequently talks about it.

(He does a "hands channel" on YouTube taking apart electrical devices and other gadgets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMv2KyuZEp4 )


Big Clive and his house full of disassembled and broken things :)

Tremendous channel though and thoroughly educational.


I’m relatively familiar with the geography, but why oh why, in an article with this headline and subject, is there not, before anything else, a map indicating the UK and the Isle of Man?

it's on the bbc website? the British public do generally have a good idea where IOM is.

plus the subheader:

>Despite being ringed on all sides by the UK – Northern Ireland to west, Scotland to the north, England to the east and Wales to the south – the Isle of Man is not actually part of it.

does tell you quite well where IOM is.

feels like complaining that an article on the NYTimes about Connecticut vs Pennsylvania doesn't show a map of the USA indicating where the states are.


Brit here. I must confess, I don't know where the Isle of Man is!

Here's one [1] that shows it as part of the Kingdom of the Isles at the end of the 11th century.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kingdom_of_Mann_and_the_I...


When the Kingdom of the Isles was merged into Scotland there was a noble title of Lord of the Isles - which eventually was nabbed by the Royals themselves and is currently held by Prince Charles:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Isles


> “Independence is a strong part of the character of the people of the island. We’re not part of the UK, or the British Isles – we’re Manx,” said Phil Gawne, a former politician on the island...

Hmm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles

> The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe that consist of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Hebrides and over six thousand smaller isles.

Wikipedia disagrees.

Over the years, I've harbored a growing suspicion that the political Venn diagram surrounding the UK and associated entities has reached the point of such complexity that even the natives can't follow it.

(Not that I think that Americans know the US's territorial classification system either, but...)


This terminology is the official UK POV and generally accepted elsewhere. It's not surprising that any self governed or separitist faction is challenging this.

See the last paragraph of the introduction of said Wikipedia article.

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_naming_dispute#W...


Yeah, that person is just wrong. Interesting that they identify that way though. I have friends in Jersey, which holds the same status as the Isle of Mann, and they're very insistent on not being part of the UK, but that they are British (as well as Jersey native). They like being independent but being strongly connected to the UK.

The term "British Isles" is purely a geographic one, and a controversial one at that; whether or not the the Isle of Man is part of the British Isles (it blatantly is, but I think the point being made related to the naming controversy) is unrelated to the "complexity" of the UK political entities.

Let me translate that for you:

“Independence is a strong part of the character of the people of the island. We’re whatever it takes to remain a tax haven.”


> Independence is a strong part of the character of the people of the island. We’re not part of the UK, or the British Isles – we’re Manx

It should be noted that this is more aspirational than reality. It's not just the currency that's tied to the UK's pound, a lot of legislation is normalised between the two. The tax situation aside, it's more a part of the UK than some Manx residents like to think (and even the tax serves a purpose for the UK). This is unsurprising as most residents come from the UK and it is almost completely dependent on the UK. That said Tynwald (Manx government) can and does make laws that differ. Relatively recently its abortion reforms were in the news.

A geeky aside: Linux enthusiasts may know the Isle of Mann as the home of Mark Shuttleworth (creator of Ubuntu).


You could tell, because there's no way their motorcycle race would be allowed in the UK.

I was halfexpecting this article to tell us they still used pre-decimalized currency.



There are loads of these road races in UK & Ireland (also in mainland Europe). It's a full calendar.

In the past decade, only three people died.

The TT is the only reason I know of the Isle of Man. The current lap record is 16 minutes 42 seconds at an average speed of 135mph!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man_TT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmNXCJt7K3Q



The article is correct, but it's also less than relevant for most people outside the UK, unless they live on the Isle of Man.

British politics provides endless wells of "Well, actually..." any time anyone says something about the subject. Shades of Mornington Crescent.


I am familiar with Camden and Mornington Crescent area, but "Shades of Mornington Crescent"?

He might be referring to the old radio game, Mornington Crescent that aired on BBC Radio 4. Where all the rules are made up, but tensely debated none the less. One of my first website's was an attempt at an online game of Mornington Crescent.

> The game consists of each panellist in turn announcing a landmark or street, most often a tube station on the London Underground system. The aim is to be the first to announce "Mornington Crescent", a station on the Northern line. Interspersed with the turns is humorous discussion amongst the panellists and host regarding the rules and legality of each move, as well as the strategy the panellists are using.


I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue (the panelshow in question) is still going today!

Although the original host sadly passed away a few years ago, and many of the original cast are well into their 80s...


Mornington Crescent is a station the you only stop at going one direction on the London underground. If you go in the other direction it disappears. Here it's being used as a short-hand for a complex situation/set of rules. The usage is probably drawn from the fact there was a comedy radio programme in the UK that played a ridiculous game involving many sets of convoluted rules upon rules and the name of the game was Mornington Crescent.

> Mornington Crescent is a station the you only stop at going one direction on the London underground. If you go in the other direction it disappears.

I'm not sure if this is a valiant attempt to confuse Americans, but this isn't true. Trains stop in both directions.

A reason it might not seem like that is that there are two branches of the Northern line running in parallel between Euston and Camden Town, and Mornington Crescent is only on one of them. So depending on which way you turn when you reach the southbound platform at Camden, you may or may not pass through Mornington Crescent on your way into town.


You just demonstrated why "Mornington Crescent" is good shorthand for "a preponderance of edge cases and tribal knowledge"

Mornington Crescent used to have trains only stopping in one direction (prior to 1966, according to Wikipedia). Then for a long time, it was one of the less-used stations for somewhere relatively central, and wasn't open at weekends.

Nowadays, the next station (Camden Town) and that area's various alternative/subculture markets make the area very busy all the time, so all trains stop at Mornington Crescent at all times.


Specifically, the rules of Mornington Crescent are made up as you go along.

Except when they might put you in nip by crossing their laterals. Then it's very serious business.

In fact it only appears on one branch of the Northern line. But you can get to it from either direction on that branch.

Train nerds will doubtless be fascinated that geographically it's on the east of the other branch, but on tube maps it's shown on the line to the west.

There are some complicated track crossings in the area and it's easier - and more useful - to keep the branches straight on the tube map than to show what's really happening underground.


Was? "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" is still going, running since the seventies I think. There was a series this year. Sadly no longer with Humph.

As others correctly pointed out, I'm referring to the parodic panel game "Mornington Crescent" from I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue; the "game" is ostensibly about making moves from tube stop to tube stop while obeying an immensely complicated set of rules which are written down in full in a gigantic book... which doesn't exist in the real world.

The Wikipedia article is fairly anodyne, but the talk page was surprisingly acrimonious on the topic of whether this joke is a game, or whether this game is a joke; ultimately, the side insisting it is so a real game seemed like they were attempting to prevent Wikipedia from "spoiling" it by stating outright that there are no actual rules:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Mornington_Crescent_(game...

... which reminds me of the surprising persistence with which some people tried to get Wikipedia to state that drop bears are real:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Drop_bear/Archive_1



And "Shades of ${thing}" is shorthand for something like "This reminds one of ${thing}" or "There are similarities to ${thing}"

So GP's last sentence can be interpreted as: "There are similarities to the radio game Mornington Crescent".

I often forget how British phrases, cultural references and idioms can be completely inscrutable.


How can "shades of" be inscrutable in any language? Genuinely curious. I think I picked it up immediately from context.

The combination of the unusual game sharing the name with a tube stop and the unusual expression could leave anyone unfamiliar with either completely lost, as demonstrated by the OP. The way the expression is used it's often just in a sentence of its own, with the aforementioned ${thing} usually being some specific cultural reference. For example if a Czech person was watching English football and heard the phrase "Shades of 1966" I have no doubt they could parse and understand every word in the sentence ... but it's quite possible they'd have no idea what was meant because "1966" has special cultural significance for most English people, and the "shades of ..." doesn't really hint at anything on its own.

My girlfriend speaks English as a second language, and speaks it beautifully, but can struggle if I use idioms or phrases which are far more commonplace than this, partly because of how many we have in English and partly because they can be unusual.


What the author called a 'rumpy' cat is the colloquial term used on the island, along with 'stubbin'. Otherwise the cat is called outside of the island, not surprisingly, a Manx cat. I've seen them scattered around the commonwealth as beloved pets, various tail sizes but probably sadly mutilated for cat shows for a more perfect rump.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_cat


For those unfamiliar why it's not surprising - the word "Manx" is something like "of/from the Isle of Man" (like "Scottish" or "Scotch" for Scotland)

if you've seen tailess cats in the UK (I know you refer to the wider commonwealth), they would not be mutilated, at least legally, like that.

tail docking, ear docking, declawing, descenting (of ferrets), is illegal unless for the health of the animal or for a few working breeds where the dog is a working dog.

(England and Wales do have some different laws on this than Scotland and NI)


And there is an European Convention:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20506954

Though I believe that it wasn't actually signed/ratified by the UK:

https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventio...


Apparently the "Isle of Man has the largest wallaby population in the northern hemisphere":

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/unite...


Jesus Christ everyone, just pay some taxes

The Manx do pay tax, up to 20% income tax and 17.5% VAT (sales tax). Yes, it's low, but a little place with no need for military is cheap to run.

There's plenty of countries with lower rates than that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates


The UK spends just over 2% of GDP on defence. It's not a big part of the budget. Total government spending is around 40% of GDP.

[flagged]


> get nothing in return, for people you don't know, and you know _they_ hate you

The sentiment expressed in your post is dangerous populism against an imaginary "other".

In case anyone actually believes this and is not just trolling on a throwaway then check at least the broadest of breakdowns of public spending to see "what you get" [0].

[0] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-public-spendi...


Makes sense. They have their own TLD: .im. There was a time in the 2000's when .im was a halfway useful TLD for startups to use.

This explains the complexities on the "british isles" quite well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

"The Island's climate is temperate and lacking in extremes, due to the influence of the surrounding Irish Sea. In winter thunderstorms, snowfall and frost are infrequent, and even when snow does occur it rarely lies on the ground for more than a day or two.

February is normally the coldest month, with an average daily temperature of 4.9 C (41 F), and July and August are the warmest - with an average daily maximum temperature of around 18 C (63 F). In summer April, May and June are the driest months whilst May, June and July are the sunniest.

Wind generally travels southwesterly, although the rugged topography means that local effects of shelter and exposure are very variable. Sea fog affects the south and east coast at times, especially in spring, but is less frequent on the west coast.

Rainfall and the frequency of hill fog both increase with altitude - the highest point of the Island (Snaefell at 2,036 ft) receives some two and a quarter times more rainfall than Ronaldsway on the southeast coast, where the annual average is 34 inches (863 mm)."

That's why the Isle of Man is a tax haven. It's beautiful if you like bleak islands.


How do you write this article and not post the Venn diagram?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/British_...


I enjoy European bilateral travel and trade agreements especially amongst microstates but this one is such an irrelevant distinction for practical matters that I think it isn’t worth mentioning.

Thanks for the reminder, and the article and history was very interesting.


I like how it's only mentioned in passing that it's a tax haven. Which probably explains why it's not in the UK.



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