AMSTERDAM – The head of the council of euro zone finance ministers said Britain would be taking a “crazy step backwards” if it opted to turn itself into a tax haven after leaving the European Union, warning that such a move would hurt both Britain and the EU.
“It would be bad for Europe, but also bad for England, bad for the United Kingdom, to end up as a kind of tax paradise off the European coast,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Dutch RTL television on Tuesday. “In the current climate, where we are working closely with the British to tackle tax evasion, it would be a crazy step backwards.”
Dijsselbloem, who is also Dutch finance minister, said he had had discussions with London-based banks looking to relocate from London to the Netherlands after Brexit, adding that they seemed undeterred by strict Dutch rules on banking bonuses.
“The strict regulations we have are aimed to protect Dutch clients,” he said. “The law already says that the strict conditions don’t apply to international banks working from the Netherlands.”