EU Membership For Spangaltar!


By Global Tax Weekly

I’m going to give an award to the European Union for its refusal to rise to Spain’s allegations against Gibraltar’s low tax regime, alongside the measured acceptance by an EU delegation of new Spanish border controls, which everyone realizes are a tit-for-tat response to Gibraltar’s dumping of concrete blocks into its harbour, for some obscure purpose which may possibly have something to do with fishing. The EU is the only party to this imbroglio that has shown a modicum of grown-up common sense. Gibraltar, encouraged by the UK, and Spain, seem incapable of rational behaviour on the subject of Gibraltar’s sovereignty. What meaning can be attached to the idea of European unity when this 400-year-old squabble is allowed to smoulder on by two of the EU’s largest member states? Spain’s tax complaint was curious, given that Gibraltar’s tax regime has already been crawled over to exhaustion by the EU Commission and the European Court of Justice. Haven’t they got any better ideas? For instance, how about starting an autonomous zone around Gibraltar with zero tax; it would attract business like iron filings to a magnet. Of course, the EU will scream blue murder, but if “autonomous” really meant autonomous – how about calling it Spangaltar – it could apply for separate membership of the EU, just as Scotland will when it separates from the UK. Gibraltar would soon sue for peace!





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