Brexit, Trump, threaten gains since WW2, says Moscovici

UK’s post-Brexit arrangements with the EU must be ‘inferior to membership of the EU’

The achievements of the last half century are under threat as never before, as Brexit, the Presidency of Donald Trump and the rise of populism challenge the "entire trading and security architecture" constructed by the west, an EU commissioner said on Tuesday.

EU economic affairs and taxation commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the UK's post-Brexit arrangements with the EU must be "inferior to membership of the EU."

“You cannot get the best of both worlds,” Mr Moscovici said in Dublin this morning. He was speaking to journalists ahead of a speech to The Irish Times corporate tax summit today.

Mr Moscovici stoutly defended the Commission's plan for common rules on the ways of calculating corporation tax across Europe, the so-called Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base.


The CCCTB plan has alarmed the Irish Government, which fears it would hit Irish corporation tax receipts.

However, Mr Moscovici was at great pains to offer assurances that the plan would not affect the 12.5 per cent corporation tax here.

He declined to be drawn on whether it was legally possible for the North or the British-Irish relationship to be granted a special status after Brexit.

Any “new kinds of arrangements” he said, “can only intervene” after Brexit. However, he said that if the UK leaves the customs union, “clearly there will be a need or customs procedures”.

Such customs procedures, which would apply to goods moving from the Republic to the North and to the rest of the UK, should be “swift and efficient”.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times