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The Government is pushing ahead with plans
for a digital services tax, as France's introduction of a similar law sparks ire in Washington.
Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said yesterday, 'This targeted and proportionate digital services tax is designed to keep our tax system in this area both fair and competitive, pending a longer term international settlement.'
Earlier this week, the US President instructed
his trade team to investigate whether France's tax was 'discriminatory or unreasonable' - the tax is believed to affect mainly large American firms such as Amazon and Google. If the tax is found to be discriminatory, Trump may retaliate with tariffs.
France has hit back
at Washington, with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying, 'Between allies, I believe we can and must resolve our differences in another way than through threats.'
When the UK's proposal was announced in last year's Budget, the IoD warned
that 'the Chancellor must proceed with extreme caution'.
Strong and stable?
The Bank of England made waves yesterday with the publication of its regular Financial Stability Report
and others led on its statement that the 'perceived risk' of no deal was increasing. The institution warned that a disorderly Brexit and global trade wars were the primary concerns for the UK's financial stability.
The Bank's Governor, Mark Carney, said that, while the UK's level of preparedness had increased, 'there would still be a major economic adjustment, a major economic shock' in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Meanwhile, the papers also picked up on the central bank's decision
to review whether so-called 'open-ended funds' should have to bar investors from being able to withdraw their money at short notice. Such funds have been in the spotlight since Neil Woodford's flagship fund entered
All at sea
Jeremy Hunt has promised to reverse cuts to the Royal Navy's budget, following a week in which a Navy frigate was forced to turn its guns towards Iranian patrol boats that had impeded a UK-flagged vessel, according to the MoD.
The Daily Telegraph
and others report that British ships have been told to consider Iranian waters as a 'level three' (i.e. critical) security risk.
The incident on Wednesday followed the detention
of an Iranian ship by authorities in Gibraltar, who believed it to be breaking sanctions. Iran's President Rouhani called the move 'mean and wrong' arguing the UK was an 'initiator of insecurity' and warning of repercussions.
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