Ireland will pay a heavy price to be in the core of the EU

A letter from John Gemmell:

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 2:01 am
Letter to the editor

I always resented the low rate of Corporation Tax in the Republic because it harmed Northern Ireland

It did not help most in the south either, except those directly employed by the multinationals concerned, and the increasingly self-righteous political class.

That same political class no doubt sees President Biden as one of their own.

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Yet, he is partly behind the agreement of G7 finance ministers in London to seek to set Corporation Tax internationally at 15% at least, and bring in other measures to make the taxation of multinationals fairer.

It is, indeed, bad news for tax havens, and in many ways Ireland is such a place.

Perhaps President Biden’s devotion to Ireland is limited to adding new names and flowery cartouches to his family tree, and defending a NI Protocol that he probably barely understands.

When it comes to business it’s America first. In this instance, and in many others, that suits us fine.

Interesting geopolitical issues are raised by all this, but very different ones for the UK and the Republic.

For us, despite what I will always see as the disaster of Brexit, we have reminded ourselves that we are still a relatively big hitter.

Post-Brexit, there are deals to be done, commercial, diplomatic and security. We may be disrespected by posturing French ministers or erratic eurovision juries. But, we can bounce back.

With a decent prime minister we could forge ahead.

For the Republic the learning point is clear —put not all your faith in US presidents, but, more importantly, in French and German princes.

France and Germany despise the Irish undercutting their business taxes, and see the country as essentially a province in their developing union.

The Republic can be part of the EU core if it wishes, but the price will get heavier, and its room for manoeuvre will decline in the future.

The future, by the way, lasts a very long time.

John Gemmell, Wem, Shropshire

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