Emmanuel Macron, the French president, wants to see a Europe-wide corporate tax band. He wants that countries that do not approve of his proposal should see its aid cut.
During a wide-ranging speech, Macron said that he was interested in seeing the harmonisation of business taxes all over the European Union by 2020.
The French president said that the maximum and minimum tax band would be able “condition access to the European Cohesion Fund”, continuing that: “You cannot benefit from European solidarity while going against the others.”
He suggested that taxing technology companies such as Apple and Facebook where they make money instead of where they are registered.
Also, Macron stated that Britain could yet have a place in the bloc if it carried on his vision for a more effective and a less bureaucratic future.
Macron stated: “In a few years if they want, the United Kingdom could find its place… In this reformed and simplified EU that I’m proposing, I can’t imagine that the United Kingdom could not find its place.”
President Macron swept to power in May with a fiercely pro-European platform. He was talking to an audience that was composed mainly of students at the Sorbonne.
Macron’s vision also took in immigration, defence, industry and borders.
“The only path that assures our future is the rebuilding of a Europe that is sovereign, united and democratic,” he said.
“At the beginning of the next decade, Europe must have a joint intervention force, a common defence budget and a joint doctrine for action.”
The issue regarding a European defence force is something that the United Kingdom is not welcoming of. It believes that an “EU army” would weaken the role of Nato.
However, it was on finance that his most ambitious visions were outlined.
Implementing an EU-wide corporate tax band would fluster countries with low taxes such as Ireland, which has retained its corporation taxes low to attract businesses, particularly tech companies, to base their operations there.
In the view of Macon, if member countries declined to support the single rate, they could see the aid they receive from Brussels cut.
He asked for a tax on financial transactions to fund overseas aid, expanding a levy already in place in Britain and France.
Finally, Macron stated that the European Union should impose a carbon tax on highly-polluting products that are entering Europe, as well as on industries that burn a lot of fossil fuels within the bloc.
If all of these reforms were already in place, he said, he could perceive a future where Britain would once again want to be a part of the Europea Union.
“We need a Europe that is simpler, more transparent and less bureaucratic,” said Macron.
“Simple, efficient, protective, the single market should become a space for convergence rather than competition.”