France Frightened of ‘Tax Haven’ Brexit Britain ‘at the Gates of Europe’

La Republique En Marche member of parliament Amelie de Montchalin attends the 100th French Mayors congress on November 23, 2017 at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / ludovic MARIN (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images

France is opposed to Brexit Britain becoming a “tax haven” on the EU’s doorstep, a French government minister has said.

French minister Amélie de Montchalin told C News television on Thursday: “I do not want to have a tax haven at the gates of Europe.”

The State Secretary for European Affairs made the comments after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had sent European leaders his new Brexit plans.

Expressing concern the UK may obtain an advantage over Europe, Ms de Montchalin said: “We have to look at whether standards are being met.”

“We ask our companies to respect environmental, social, and fiscal issues. We must be able to work fairly,” she added.

France is not the only EU Member State to fear a competitor unfettered by Brussels rules across the English Channel. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was worried that Brexit would result in having an “economic competitor at our door”.

“The fact remains that after the withdrawal of Britain, we have an economic competitor at our door, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations,” Chancellor Merkel had said during a parliamentary debate.

European Council President-elect Charles Michel had also said that he was concerned about the UK drifting away from Europe and moving “more toward the United States”.

Last month, the prime minister made overtures to American businessmen, saying Brexit Britain would “roll out the red carpet for our American friends”.

“We’re going to take advantage of all the freedoms that Brexit can give whether it’s new tax allowances for businesses or speedier public procurement contracts or creating new free ports, enterprise zones, devising better regulations for sectors the UK leads the world [… and] more competitive tax rates,” Mr Johnson had said.

The UK has said that it could work out a trade deal with Australia in a matter of months. Reports allege that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump could strike a free trade agreement by July 2020.

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