THE reasoning behind the Conservative government choosing Brexit has puzzled many people – but should it?

The answer lies in the Conservative party culture and track record of protecting the interests of the monied class over the generations. Many of its wealthy supporters protect their wealth by utilising tax-avoidance loopholes and tax havens to limit company tax liabilities. Across the UK this amounts to many billions of pounds per year.

These wealthy Conservative supporters would be aware that in June 2016 the European Council adopted the Directive (EU) 2016/1164 laying down rules against tax avoidance practices within the EU – but they don’t want you to know that.

This is the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, complementing the existing rule on hybrid mismatches. Member states are required to apply the five legally binding anti-abuse measures from January 1 2019. See:

It creates a minimum level of protection against corporate tax avoidance throughout the EU, while ensuring a fairer and more stable environment for business.

The complex UK taxation system, coupled to the many UK tax havens, currently provides a lucrative financial minefield ripe for individual and corporate tax evasion. Within the EU umbrella this would mean UK companies would have to pay billions of pounds in UK taxation that they are currently avoiding.

After Brexit many Conservative supporters will no doubt be pleased that they will be able to continue with their tax-evasion schemes.

It is also likely that the big business interests lie behind the lack of media publicity on this issue.

Robert Ingram
Centre for Scottish Constitutional Studies

I AM neither a politician nor an economist but I did listen and tried to make sense of Mrs May’s speech on Friday. Eliminating the rewritten history and the repeat of already broken promises, it seems to boil down to this: We don’t like: 1) free movement of people 2) the European Court of Justice being the arbiter of compliance with the EU acquis, 3) common agriculture and fisheries policies, 4) restriction on trade deals with non-EU-related countries.Therefore, we want to withdraw from these rules and remain with 90 per cent of the other benefits and restrictions of membership and pay less for the privilege.


Mike Underwood

MRS May is certainly between the rock and a hard place. She is under pressure from Northern Ireland and Scotland, and more recently the official opposition, to stay in the EU customs union, but is faced by the demands from Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and other members of the Tory MPs’ “European Research Group” for a clean break from the EU and an end to all EU law, regardless of the economic consequences. She had little to say which would not offend one group or another, and so said next to nothing.

Recent headlines have concentrated on her party’s desire to end of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR). This is a distraction. Her real issue is not differences with the ECHR, but an obsession with repealing the UK Human Rights Act and withdrawing from the International Convention on Human Rights completely.

Human rights legislation is designed to protect the right to life, a fair trial, freedom of expression, thought, conscience and religion, and also ensure respect for private and family life and the protection of property.

It protects the rights of those that we don’t agree with as well as those that we do. In a civilised society even suspected terrorists are entitled to the due process of law. Long may it remain that way.

Peter Rowberry

NOW that it has been proved beyond all possible doubt that the recent (and ongoing) road difficulties had nothing to do with the snow and was actually the fault of this terrible Essennpee guvvermint, can we now assume they will also be responsible for any outbreaks of sunburn and midgie bites in summer (if we get one)?

SNP government fails miserably yet again to protect the population from excessive heat from the sun, which could easily have been anticipated and prevented by building several Millennium Domes over the major cities a la The Simpsons Movie”

Daft? Not any dafter than a lot of the drivel printed by our right-wing Brit Nat press! Shame on you Humza for not having 10,000 snow ploughs on standby – just in case.

Barry Stewart

I’VE lost count of the articles written about the second referendum. The contrast between these and Common Weal’s approach is startling.

It’s hard work to thrash out ideas about a new nation. It’s brave to put forward concrete proposals (instead of complaints). It would be great if more people looked to the summit, the final destination (bravely going where quite a few other countries have gone without regrets).

It’s not a free country yet but people are entitled to different opinions. A lot of argument about what kind of country we want to be would be infinitely more interesting than endlessly regurgitating why one date would be better than another.

Jane Guz