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Ireland Concerned At UK FTT Opt Out

by Jason Gorringe,, London

15 December 2011

The fall-out from the UK's decision to walk away from European Union (EU) crisis talks continues, with the Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan warning of his concerns over a financial transactions tax that excludes the City of London.

Speaking at a Bloomberg event prior to a meeting with the UK's Chancellor, Noonan said he believed Ireland would be at a disadvantage if a transactions tax was applied in Dublin but not in London.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron was the only EU member to exercise what he calls his veto over a proposed new deal to save the eurozone. He refused to accept the plans, arguing that they did not adequately safeguard his country's interests.

Noonan said that he would prefer to see the tax introduced at a global or G20 level, but, were that not possible, the next best option would be an EU-wide application, not one restricted to the 17 eurozone states. He said Ireland was prepared to talk about the levy, but noted "it is a matter of concern and interest for Ireland."

There is also talk of Ireland holding a referendum on the eurozone deal, which Noonan says would effectively be a question on the country's continued membership of the euro. According to reports, the government will not make a decision until the final text of the agreement has been hammered out and agreed to by the member states next spring.

TAGS: tax | business | Ireland | banking | capital markets | international financial centres (IFC) | tobin tax | United Kingdom | offshore | agreements | offshore banking | G20 | European Union (EU) | Europe

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