Two little tales about sovereignty

Richard Murphy says:
August 21 2019 at 10:54 am
Fine

You can give a reason

But you can’t explain how to do it and honour our commitments

Nor can you explain how we are still a nation or why you think we passed our sovereignty to the EU when very clearly we never have, in the slightest

So as an argument that’s so full of holes and so not based on truth or reality it takes us nowehere

So. Let us consider the Vodafone tax case. Where Murph was vehement that massive amounts of tax were being dodged. As Richard Brooks was alleging. And English law was stating that those profits in a Luxembourg company in Luxembourg were taxable in the UK. Controlled Foreign Companies, dontchaknow. And the EU demurred. They said that under EU law such profits were not taxable in the UK.

We have a conflict between UK and EU law. Sovereignty is rather defined by whose law wins in such circumstances.

The EU.

And the second. Murph decided that the UK should adopt passport based taxation. It was gently – if sneeringly – pointed out that he couldn’t do that, not regarding other EU countries that is. Would go against free movement of peeps. He accepted that – eventually. UK cannot pass a law to do x because it has given up its sovereignty on that issue.

As, of course, with trade etc.

Now, of course, it’s possible to argue that it’s all worth it. But the statement ” you think we passed our sovereignty to the EU when very clearly we never have, in the slightest” is clearly and obviously colei.

35 comments on “Two little tales about sovereignty

  1. “our commitments”

    What, are we married to the EU? There’s no legitimate mechanism by which a member state might change its mind?

    Does this apply domestically as well – Labour can’t scrap HS2 or Trident or raise taxes because a previous government made “commitments”?

  2. Even in the 1975 Referendum, the pro-European side talked about “pooled sovereignty”.

    Costa v ENEL (1964!) in the ECJ made it clear that member states had “restricted their sovereign rights”, the Factortame cases in the UK made it clear that British Acts of Parliaments would be disapplied by UK courts if found to clash with EU law, and so on.

    No matter how fanatical you are as a remainer, I can’t see any point denying some sovereignty was transferred or lost or whatever; you might argue that it was economically worthwhile or even that the greater “say” the UK got from being part of the EU actually made up for it in practical terms, but to say UK sovereignty was utterly unaffected is head-in-sand stuff.

  3. Isn’t the Irish government currently embroiled in a tax dispute with the EU over so-called ‘state aid’ rules?

    Seems that the EU thinks it has sovereignty on tax matters…..

  4. Ok, please can someone explain what this “colei” is & where it came from?

    Google is not helping…

    …and while I’m here, Tim the CT website looks like a dogs dinner on my iPad. Please can you make it readable? It’s fine on my computers.

  5. The potato’s on a roll lately – showing off his ignorance,denial of reality, his inability to understand let alone counter another person’s argument/point of view, snark, pomposity, paper thin tolerance of difference of opinion – somebody’s disagreed with me on the internet WAAH! Hopefully if we leave on the 31st of October and it’s a success his head will explode.

  6. @Raffles

    The BBC version is even funnier.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49409055

    Even the copper in all that wire is not endlessly abundant,” added Ms Ratcliffe. “On top of that, most of these devices are coated in plastic, which could be recycled.”

    If we did have an impending copper crisis then harvesting scraps from old mobiles presumably comes a long way down from harvesting tons of old landline cable… And as for plastic, what kind of recycling job could you do with an old phone case? Serious question.

    I suspect the more economic use of many unused mobiles, would be the second-hand market, possibly overseas? That at least seems to preserve more of the value of the thing as a working device.

  7. In Japan there’s a recycling scheme for old electronic devices to strip the gold out to make next year’s Olympic medals. It’s acknowledged that it would be cheaper to use raw gold, but the whole point is the fuzzy-feeling factor, not making the cheapest possible gold medals.

  8. From BBC
    “Each device contains multiple valuable and increasingly endangered elements. ”
    What are they in danger of? Alien-induced atomic disintegration?

  9. Re his sovereignty statement, man’s an infantile cvnt.

    To deal only with tax, let’s just abolish VAT in the UK then shall we?

  10. @Raffles: If you think worrying about shortages of tantalum or copper is silly, my wife has met a lunatic green (and Green as in Party) who is convinced that with all the chips we make and don’t recycle we’re close to running out of silicon. Point out to him that it’s over a quarter of the Earth’s crust by weight and that beaches and deserts are huge masses of silicon dioxide and he simply refuses to believe you “because you can’t trust scientists”.

  11. “Hopefully if we leave on the 31st of October and it’s a success his head will explode.”

    No, he and everyone else like him will just claim it isn’t a success regardless of the facts, as they always do.

  12. More Brexit Fake News

    How Brexit will force Scots-born German mayor from office

    In a quiet corner of northern Germany there is a small community where a Scotsman is in charge.

    Iain Macnab proudly flies the Scottish flag outside his home in Brunsmark, where he is the burgermeister – or mayor.

    He has been elected to the post three times but Brexit means he will not be able to stay in office for much longer.

    Read the report – he lives in Germany, has a German wife, and their children, born in Germany, presumably have dual-citizenship. Yet,

    “Unless he becomes a German citizen before the 31 October, he will be forced to quit the prestigious office he has held for 12 years.

    At his stage in life, he is not prepared to make that switch.

    “I’ve been 70 years a Scot and I’m going to stay that way” he said.”

    Which rather overlooks the fact that applying for German citizenship does not mean he forfeits his British (not Scottish) citizenship – he could have dual-citizenship. But he’s not going to do that, so it’s all the fault of Brexit.

    “He’s yet to decide whether to stay on in Brunsmark with his German wife and their two children or to move the family to Scotland.

    Whatever happens, Brexit ensures that his career as the elected mayor of a small town in Germany is coming to an end.”

    H/T Mark Hodgson @BH

  13. But you can’t explain how to do it and honour our commitments

    I must admit, as far as brazen, facile arguments go, this is a belter.

    Can be stated as
    “You voted to leave the EU, but we committed to join the EU. As leaving would not honour this commitment, we will not be leaving the EU.”

    Lol.

  14. Regarding the story about shortages caused by people hoarding their old gadgets. If the rare elements contained within said gadgets become valuable, there will be a growing market for them. A while ago there were numerous outfits offering to pay you top price for your gold jewellery because gold had gone up in price. Exactly the same thing will happen with peices of old tech. Why is this so hard to understand?

  15. Ol’ Richie got duffed up in that exchange. Banned the bloke without explaining the sovereignty question.

  16. Last year the EU disbursed £9bn appx of Public money out of a spend of (*iro) £800bn. That’s about the measure of the passing over of authority. Excuse me for introducing facts .
    To a small extent Sovereignty is pooled but acting with other Nations is not a loss of sovereignty per se , membership of NATO would not be perceived as such but it also requires such a trade off .
    This is often misrepresented , its as if the obligations we accept, to drive on the left and not choose a side willy nilly each morning was an imposition on our freedom. Clearly it increases freedom as does the Europe wide agreement on the equivalence of security known as pass-porting which , as far as I can tell no-one in this nook understands at all .

    Its simple
    EU= more trade
    More trade = richer
    richer = better

    The rest of it is all shit really

    ( PS the £18bn windfall promised by the bus still in the post is it ? Turkey not joined yet , millions of Syrians not shown up – fuck me what a fucking bunch of wankers we are AND BY WE I MEAN YOU )

  17. How Brexit will force Scots-born German mayor from office

    Does the EU demand that member states have no restrictions on people from other member states holding public office?

    If so, could I have run for president of France?

    If not, how does leaving the EU suddenly disqualify this Scot from being mayor?

  18. The rule is that any EU citizen can stand – or vote – anywhere they are resident in local and EU elections. But not in national. So, councillor, mayor, MEP, sure, but not MP or President.

  19. So the EU Commission declaring UK CFC rules to be ‘State Aid’, that’s not sovereignty passed to the EU?

  20. @Ironman

    The same ‘state aid’ rules apply to R&D tax credits and EMI share schemes.

    The latter, in particular, caused some problems.

    EMI share options were created in 2000 but t wasn’t until 2007 that HMG realised they fell under EU state aid rules and had to get a backdated agreement to them, which the EU time-limited and it expired on 6 April 2018.

    HMG forgot to get this renewed and so between 6 April and sometime in May when it was renewed, no-one in the advisory industry had a clue what was happening – except that HMG had suggested on 4 April that advisers delay granting options until the position was clear.

  21. Andrew C

    I wonder when the bods in the Treasury and HMRC will accept we are leaving. My bet is about 2022.

  22. Facepainter–not for the first time write in ENGLISH. It’s the best language there is and it might just make you sound like less of a lying fucking idiot.

    9billion of public money out of 800 billion–so the rest was all the EU’s personal funds was it? I know they are thieves but that is pushing it even for them, Come back with your lies at least coherent.

  23. Newmania

    If it were truly a pooled arrangement, nobody would be too bothered. But it isn’t. It is now operating as a federation and the direction of travel is in that direction.

    In a pooled arrangement, the agreed rules only remain in place for as long as everyone agrees. And the issues are therefore restricted to entirely those of a cross-border nature.

    In a federation, you’re stuck with the rules even if you no longer agree with them – potentially indefinitely. And the EU has long gone past the days of restricting itself to entirely cross-border issues.

    For a start, it is impossible to use tax compliance as a selection requirement in a public procurement – something Richie has been long dead against. If he is looking for a bad EU law (according to his own terms), there’s one!

    And if it is all about economics, if we were going to pool sovereignty, I’d much rather throw our lot in with the Yanks. Bigger economy, same language, huge cultural ties, use of common law. And if we got in a pickle in terms of defence, I’d rather be looking west than east.

  24. This is often misrepresented , its as if the obligations we accept, to drive on the left and not choose a side willy nilly each morning was an imposition on our freedom

    Do I need to point out that this in fact is an imposition on our freedom?
    We aren’t free to drive on the right. Or blow through red lights at will. Or hundreds of other things that are prohibited when driving.
    These are impositions on our freedom. That fact that almost everybody accepts these impositions*, in order to have a functioning society where we don’t have an excessive risk of dying in a fiery mangled wreck on our way to work, doesn’t stop them being impositions on freedom.

  25. New Remainiac

    Couple of favours to ask –

    ‘Clearly it increases freedom as does the Europe wide agreement on the equivalence of security known as pass-porting which , as far as I can tell no-one in this nook understands at all .’ I confess I don’t understand what you are saying here? Are you referring to financial services passporting or individual passports? How has either got any connection with security?

    Additionally can I ask if you have seen this link?

    https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness/preparedness-notices_en

    Do us all a favour – Take a look and then come back and say ‘EU membership involves no significant loss of sovereignty’

    You’re persistent – I’ll give you that, but then so are many viruses….

  26. And if it is all about economics, if we were going to pool sovereignty, I’d much rather throw our lot in with the Yanks

    Churchill seriously entertained the thought after the war …he was old and sick by then ( and drunk)
    but thats the point
    The main issue is no tariff barriers and for us it is non tariff barriers to services ( yes ..we do not all fish for a living ). This requires a political agreement and a deep relationship.
    It is inconceivable that such an arrangement could be arrived at with the US which is why there is little gain to be had form any deal done with the bouffant buffoon( their one )
    ( says the treasury and everyone else that whole shtick is just rhetoric )

    That is why there is no way that this is not going to make us poorer .
    For people whose hobby is emoting about our constitutional arrangements you can construct any conspiracy you like , its a big thing and full of contradictions .
    Its like looking at the stars ,… if you wish to see a big scary buck toothed monster bunny you have fun with that .

    Meanwhile , jobs will be lost , classes will lack books and teachers ..and so on
    I do not believe for one second that if each Brexit voters had to open their wallet and write a cheque for the amount it will cost us all they would do it .
    You know in your hearts I`m right .

  27. “And if it is all about economics, if we were going to pool sovereignty, I’d much rather throw our lot in with the Yanks”

    Depends. If its Trump then yes; if its Elizabeth Warren with reparations and open borders, then no.

    The direction of the West stands on a knife edge with respect to the 2020 election.

  28. @Newmania
    Even if you swallow the Treasury’s project fear (what are we on now – version 43(d), I reckon), even a WTO terms Brexit isn’t going to make us poorer. It might (if you choose worst case scenarios and assume that no-one will change their behaviour to adjust to the changed circumstances) reduce the rate of growth in GDP by 0.5%. Since we’re rarely able to measure GDP that accurately even in retrospect, pardon me if I don’t wet myself in fear.

  29. New Remainiac

    ‘You know in your hearts I`m right .’

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a while

  30. @Andrew C

    EMI share options? Employee….. ?

    My brain refuses to proceed past the HMV dog and Thorn EMI MRI

    .
    @David C

    And if it is all about economics, if we were going to pool sovereignty, I’d much rather throw our lot in with the Yanks. Bigger economy, same language, huge cultural ties, use of common law. And if we got in a pickle in terms of defence, I’d rather be looking west than east.

    +1 UK & BAE are deeply embedded in USA defence – eg RAF are only non USAF to have actively flown USAF U2, SR71, F117, B2 & more; BAE own Pearl Harbour yard

    Trump should buy UK

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