Guernsey and Jersey Chief Ministers visit Brussels

Guernsey and Jersey’s Chief Ministers, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq and Senator Ian Gorst,  concluded their two day programme of meetings in Brussels on 12-13 January by holding a discussion with EU Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

The meeting with the Commissioner took place two weeks before the EU Commission was expected to publish its Anti-Tax Avoidance package. The Commissioner confirmed that the EU Commission sees Guernsey and Jersey as co-operative jurisdictions and partners of the EU on tax transparency.

Commissioner Moscovici said:

“I very much welcome the continued active engagement of Guernsey and Jersey in the key international initiatives for fighting tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance, in which they are important partners of the EU. Their implementation of the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information from the 1st January, and their support of the BEPS programme, alongside the EU Member States, are particularly noteworthy and reinforce their standing as cooperative jurisdictions.”

Deputy Le Tocq said:

“Commissioner Moscovici made it clear that Guernsey and Jersey are co-operative jurisdictions, as well as effective partners and good neighbours to the EU, and I welcome that. The move to clear and consistent European standards in line with the G20 and OECD is one that we support.”

Senator Gorst said:

“I am pleased that the Commissioner has confirmed that Guernsey and Jersey are co-operative jurisdictions, and active partners of the EU in the fight tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance.”

Meetings also took place with:

  • The UK Permanent Representative to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers;
  • The French Permanent Representative to the EU, Pierre Sellal;
  • The Slovak  Permanent Representative to the EU, Peter Javorcik, to discuss priorities for the forthcoming Slovak Presidency of the EU from July 2016;
  • The Maltese Permanent Representative to the EU, Marlene Bonnici, to discuss priorities for the forthcoming Maltese Presidency of the EU from January 2017;
  • MEPs from three Member States (the UK, Ireland and Germany) covering three different political groupings, and who are members of the Economic Affairs Committee and the Tax Committee.

Issues discussed included the proposed tax package, including the implementation of the OECD’s anti-Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Actions; access for Channel Islands business to the EU market; and the prospects for the EU/UK reform negotiations.

Deputy Le Tocq said:

 “We also pushed our case on the contribution we can make to the EU’s Capital Markets Union initiative, and the importance of consistency and transparency in opening up the EU market to Channel Islands firms. As the KPMG Funds report showed last year, the Guernsey and Jersey finance sectors make a significant contribution to jobs, prosperity and growth in the EU as well as the in Channel Islands themselves.”

Senator Gorst said:

“We have had a number of opportunities to discuss the future of the UK-EU relationship, which is of great importance. The Channel Islands need to be informed ahead of the UK referendum, as well as prepared for any developments after the UK referendum.”

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