I have not read the book but I did read of the speech. I might ask the Deputy if he read either but I am sure he has. On the different issues he has referred to, President Macron, in his speech, referred to a defined corridor for corporation tax rates and increased convergence and called for a rethink on the taxation of digital companies. EU member states are currently discussing and debating various aspects of the common consolidated corporate tax base, CCCTB. By its nature, it is very complex and detailed. We are engaging constructively with the proposal but at the same time very carefully and critically analysing whether any aspect of it is in line with our long-term interests. To restate, tax remains a matter of member state competence and unanimity is required before any proposals can be agreed.
In respect of digital tax proposals, the Deputy will be aware that on 21 March the European Commission published two directives. One was temporary and one was comprehensive. There was an interesting discussion between Ministers at the informal ECOFIN in Sofia and it is clear that many countries have differing views on the merit of these proposals. There is common ground among all member states that a sustainable, globally agreed solution is preferable to the EU acting alone. Member states remain divided on the merit or need for interim measures.
The Commission’s current proposal, if adopted, would result in a significant shift in how corporate tax is administered and would have many unanticipated and negative consequences for EU member states and companies. Therefore, it is crucial that they are properly considered and analysed as they are hugely complex. I restate that unanimity is required before any proposals can be agreed.