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Why I am voting for certainty and stability

6th Jun 2016
Tax Writer Taxwriter Ltd
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Talk to any tax expert about the UK tax system and the words ‘complexity’ and ‘certainty’ will crop up. We want less of the former and more of the later.

The constant fiddling with the tax system is partly due to political change. Whenever there is a change in government the new chiefs want to implement their own bright ideas, which results in another 600 pages of tax legislation - every year. So political change creates more tax upheaval.  

If the Great British people vote to Leave the EU on 23 June 2016, the political and economic upheaval will be immense and on-going for years.

In the short term there will be another emergency Budget in which the government will set out its priorities for to changes to the tax and regulatory regime. For those changes will be needed.

There are thousands of statutory instruments that take account of EU law which would have to be reviewed, and someone (a civil servant, a minister?) will need to decide which of those regulations are to stay and which will be repealed. This alone creates huge uncertainty for businesses as they won’t know which regulations will continue to apply and for what period.

Any business which trades across international borders will suffer the double uncertainty of volatile exchange rates and the prospect of tariff barriers going up between the UK and the rest of the world.

In the short term trading agreements with other countries will remain in place, until the UK actually leaves the EU. However, no-one knows how long that leaving process will take. Greenland (population about 56,000) is the only country which has ever left the EEC, and that took three years.

When the UK’s membership ties to the EU are finally cut the trade deals which the EU made with non-EU nations will fall away for the UK. Those deals will each have to be renegotiated on country by country basis, and who will do that? The UK does not have a team of experience trade negotiators as that job has not been done from within the UK for over 40 years.

Uncertainty over regulation, trade tariffs and tax reduces business confidence and dampens growth, as businesses hold back on investing and consumers restrict spending. If the economic slowdown turns into a “technical recession” as Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England predicted, businesses will go bust. This will hurt the advisers and accountants for those businesses and of-course their employees.

Martin Lewis, founder of Moneysavingexpert.com has described the decision on how to vote in the EU referendum as an exercise in risk assessment, which can be summarised as:

  • If you think you don’t want to take the risk that the economy could go bad – vote to remain.
  • If you think that the economy is bad already and you are willing to take the chance that it could get worse, in the hope that it will get better – vote leave.

I’m totally with Martin Lewis on this. I am a risk-adverse person so I am voting to remain.  

Every thinking person who is entitled to vote should make the effort to have their say in the EU referendum. Unlike general or local elections every vote counts.

If you have moved house recently you may have fallen off the electoral register. You can register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. The deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum has been extended to midnight on 9 June.

Replies (27)

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Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
06th Jun 2016 16:55

You've hit the nail on the head here, Rebecca. It's a choice between a situation we know and understand, and a mystery box.

Besides, as you say, leaving the EU would take many years. There are so many ties that bind and the idea we can just up and leave is ridiculous.

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Tornado
By Tornado
06th Jun 2016 17:51

You cannot just stick with the Status Quo because it is less trouble than reform. Progress is about taking risks and improving on the Status Quo.

I believe the UK will come alive if we left the EU Project with more say for more people about the direction the UK is heading. There will be much to do of course, but the reward is that we would all be pulling together for the interests of the UK and tapping into the enormous latent talent that is suppressed at the moment.

You may be wary, perhaps even frightened at the amount of work that will need to be done, but I am not as I see a great new future for this Country.

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By Giles M
06th Jun 2016 18:34

One thing that has surprised me about this process is the absolute certainty of both sides. I have only ever seen religion and football associated with such certainty. I have never hidden the fact that I believe remain to be the right answer. I think we're a little island with a lot of history that helps us maintain a position in the world with or without Europe but I think the support it brings, the free market itself, the link ups in science and medicine and the wonder (yes I did say it) of freedom to move wherever I want is fabulous. I remain unconvinced by the 'it'll all be grand' logic of the leave campaign. Perhaps if they'd produced details of their plan. I'm unconvinced the 'latent talent' exists. What is stopping them now? I have friends who'd love to employ young Brits, but none come to interviews.

Of course, I was born in the year of the last referendum, so I'm biased. I was born a European AND a Brit and an Englishman and a Northerner. I've never felt they were mutually exclusive. And only the English/Brit one has ever clashed, but now I'm back to football.
I dislike the status quo but I'd rather spend the effort of reform in Europe and not rewriting laws and trying to enter agreements with countries we already have agreements with.

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Replying to Giles M:
Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
07th Jun 2016 10:59

Giles M wrote:

I have never hidden the fact that I believe remain to be the right answer. I think we're a little island with a lot of history that helps us maintain a position in the world with or without Europe but I think the support it brings, the free market itself, the link ups in science and medicine and the wonder (yes I did say it) of freedom to move wherever I want is fabulous. I remain unconvinced by the 'it'll all be grand' logic of the leave campaign. Perhaps if they'd produced details of their plan. I'm unconvinced the 'latent talent' exists. What is stopping them now? I have friends who'd love to employ young Brits, but none come to interviews.

If I could print this part of your comment out, Giles, and nail it to a church door like Martin Luther did in Wittenberg, I would.

This. It's not just about reform, but who's leading the reform? Do I trust Boris, Gove, Farage et al.? No, I do not.

So I'm presented with two routes: Being a part of the Union and fighting for reform or, leaving and having others take control of my fate.

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Replying to Francois Badenhorst:
By SteveHa
08th Jun 2016 08:42

Francois Badenhorst wrote:

So I'm presented with two routes: Being a part of the Union and fighting for reform or, leaving and having others take control of my fate.

At least by leaving you will have the opportunity to have a say over who is in control, unlike within the EU where those wielding most power are unelected and accountable to no-one.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
06th Jun 2016 19:00

All I can say is that I spend my life on the A303 travelling between Dorset and Surrey. I see a lot of Polish, Netherlands and German delivery lorries. You are not telling me that after Brexit they will all say 'Sorry mate - we are no longer doing business with you'. We import lots more than we export. The EU needs us but it shows what they think of us by doing down Cameron when he tried to get a better deal. Unsurprisingly the farmers around my area are all for Brexit.

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By Ced Cross
07th Jun 2016 14:34

I cannot agree. If you want the stability of your own tax laws and systems then you must have the democratic right to choose the Government that will listen to the majority of the population and which you can change if they get it wrong. For the past 40 years we have had no major influence in systems. rates or major changes. If you are a firm believer in democracy the only vote is to "leave".

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Tornado
By Tornado
07th Jun 2016 15:30

Francois Badenhorst wrote -

"So I'm presented with two routes: Being a part of the Union and fighting for reform or, leaving and having others take control of my fate."

It is unlikely that you will have any say over the fight for 'Reforms" in the EU. This will be down to the civil servants based on what our politicians tell them to do. The politicians could well be Boris, Gove, Farage, et al.

If we leave the EU Project then there will be no fighting for reforms, we simply elect our own politicians and tell them what we want them to do directly. They do as we say bearing in mind we have free access to our elected MP's and can easily meet with them to tell them what we want and the buck will stops at Westminster (and regional assemblies). The MP's will therefore be much more accountable and will also have to work harder for us.

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Replying to Tornado:
Francois
By Francois Badenhorst
07th Jun 2016 15:50

Tornado wrote:

Francois Badenhorst wrote -

"So I'm presented with two routes: Being a part of the Union and fighting for reform or, leaving and having others take control of my fate."

It is unlikely that you will have any say over the fight for 'Reforms" in the EU. This will be down to the civil servants based on what our politicians tell them to do. The politicians could well be Boris, Gove, Farage, et al.

If we leave the EU Project then there will be no fighting for reforms, we simply elect our own politicians and tell them what we want them to do directly. They do as we say bearing in mind we have free access to our elected MP's and can easily meet with them to tell them what we want and the buck will stops at Westminster (and regional assemblies). The MP's will therefore be much more accountable and will also have to work harder for us.

I appreciate your point, Tornado. And I see where you're coming from. But simultaneously I feel strongly that all the leave campaign is, is a power grab by Boris and Merry Band of Brexiteers (Gove and the lads).

Now don't get me wrong, mentally I make a strong distinction between a person in favour of "leave" (and you're clearly following your conscience and I respect that) and opportunistic politicians who I call Brexiteers.

For me, these men - and they're pretty much without exception wealthy men - are merely frustrated at not being able to run the UK as their personal dominion.

Do we really feel that Prime Minister Johnson would implement a radical direct democracy, ushering in a new era of political accountability and transparency?

I studied history, and probably the biggest lesson I took from the subject was that no country or people have ever been rewarded for turning inward, for cutting ties.

But like I said, I respect your opinion and I appreciate the opportunity to speak about this.

Maybe they should put you and I on telly? God knows we could only make more sense than the lot they've got on at the moment!

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Tornado
By Tornado
07th Jun 2016 16:27

Francois Bordenhorst wrote -

"I studied history, and probably the biggest lesson I took from the subject was that no country or people have ever been rewarded for turning inward, for cutting ties."

History is great. It tells us that the British were able to 'rule' India with the help of hundreds of Indian Princes who were ensured controlled power as long as they co-operated with the British. Does this not sound a bit like the cosy arrangements in the EU Project albeit only 28 'Princes' at the moment.

Eventually, of course, India gained its freedom again by cutting ties with the British and making their own decisions again. Jaguar, Land Rover, TATA Steel and other companies are now owned by an Indian company, to give just one example of what breaking free can achieve.

The story of the British Raj is fascinating and infinitely more complex than my simple example, but it does provide factual evidence of what power and control over other people can achieve, both good and bad.

Sometimes breaking away from those that control you, without accountability, is well worth the effort.

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
07th Jun 2016 18:15

I will lift my site boycott to reply to this. What would make me vote Brexit would be some "hard yards" and not 3 months' solid of whingeing and moaning. I would vote Brexit if there was a sense that on 24 June we'd wake up with a clear action plan ready to hit the ground. Given that the pound would be 5 or 10 cents down on the dollar, to me such a clear plan is vital if we were to avoid "headless chicken" mode like in 1992.

Modi is meeting Obama today, 2 of our most important trading partners if we leave the EU. If those guys were saying "If the UK leaves the EU we'll fast track trade deals" that would demonstrate to us that the Brexit lot are not just all talk and no trousers, that they'd spent at least some part of the last 5 years running some hard yards not just moaning and whingeing.

Instead we are being offered a back of a fag packet plan if we leave the EU. In my view it is even less of a fag packet than the SNP offered 2 years ago.

In principle I will never vote for the back of a fag packet.

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Replying to mr. mischief:
joe
By Smokoe Joe
07th Jun 2016 19:17

I beg to differ, I think the back of a fag packet is seriously under-rated.
But seriously, whatever the risks, the rewards, if our politicians have the balls to back up a Brexit and tell the EC where to get off, are worth it.
As I see it, the millions of British who have died over the centuries were wasted deaths if we carry on surrendering our hard earned freedoms to the malign dictatorship that is the EC.

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Replying to Smokoe Joe:
Chris M
By mr. mischief
07th Jun 2016 20:45

They don't have any balls, they are all talk and no trousers! Excellent at whingeing, moaning and running Project Greivance. Useless tossers when it comes to doing some hard work and getting key trading partners at least signed up to "Heads of Terms" before we gamble everything on 23rd.

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Replying to mr. mischief:
Chris M
By mr. mischief
07th Jun 2016 20:47

I will now resume my site boycott again. I am checking in once a month to see if the daft website design has been scrapped, after a few months if it has not then I will just take this site off my favourites.

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By rememberscarborough
08th Jun 2016 10:42

I won't be voting but the attitude of the Remain party is very worrying. Anyone disagreeing with them is painted as either a racist or a gambler or both. Clearly the EU has many, many problems that all the years of membership have failed to address. The Remain party have at no point told us how they are going to solve these problems but have only tried to tell us what chaos there will be if we leave.

Given the current level of chaos and the increasing problems you do have to wonder how much worse any change could possibly be....

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By Knight Rider
08th Jun 2016 17:21

This must be the most gloomy and depressing account of reasons to remain that I have read so far. In summary we should stay because we are all quite busy, we don't want any regulatory changes and we don't have the necessary expertise to do trade negotiations. Business by its very nature is uncertain in a changing world.
The intervention of the BoE governor is particularly unwarranted given that he hails from Canada, intends to return and Canada has just negotiated a trade deal with the EU which does not involve the free movement of labour.
We have had currency crises,recessions and financial collapses while members of the EU.Once we leave there will be a jobs boost to advisers and accountants dealing with businesses expanding outside the EU.

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Tornado
By Tornado
09th Jun 2016 13:28

One final comment -

"Why I am voting for certainty and stability"

If you are going to vote remain, you are not necessarily going to get certainty & stability. With ever rising levels of anti-EU movements in at least 8 other member states, and the general unrest about the whole project, you might consider it worth getting off the ship whilst it is still afloat instead of thrashing about in the water when it hits the rocks.

To me, the direction the EU-Project is taking (based also on the publicised aims of the Project) will inevitably end in failure. This is an Empire that the people will not want to belong to.

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Out of my mind
By runningmate
09th Jun 2016 14:08

The EU in essence is transferring wealth from countries in Northern & Western Europe to countries in Southern & Eastern Europe (such as Spain, Greece & Poland). The detailed figures are at
http://english.eu.dk/en/faq/faq/net_contribution
At the same time political & legislative power is shifting to Brussels.
So if that is what you desire you should vote 'Remain' - if that is contrary to your desire you should vote 'Leave'.
RM

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By raybackler
09th Jun 2016 20:56

@runningmate - there is more to this than the net contributions. The Euro is artificially low because it is dragged down by the weaker economies. The strongest economies, led by Germany in a big way, benefit from a large export trading advantage by having a lower Euro currency value. This generates huge wealth for them and they contribute a bit of it back to the EU budget for onward distribution to the weaker nations. With this model the weaker nations can never become strong, because in their case the Euro is too high. The only thing they could do is borrow to try and improve their situation and, come the economic downturn, they were caught being unable to service their debt levels. The correct response is for the wealthy nations to write off or downgrade this debt. They won't because it would be politically unacceptable. The only alternative is for the weak countries to leave the Euro, but they won't unless pushed because all they see is the budget contribution from the EU, when there is so much more to gain by taking an alternative path. The Euro and with it, the EU project are doomed if they continue down this path, except no one knows the end date or how convulsive it would be. Just ask yourself what a national currency value in each country would be without the Euro. The Deutsch Mark would be far stronger and the Greek Drachma would fall off a cliff in comparison. Would I vote to remain in this disaster waiting to happen - no I wouldn't. I rest my case and will now get off my soap box!

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By raybackler
10th Jun 2016 07:12

@ mr.mischief - like you I think the new AW site has some serious shortcomings, but there have been some improvements too. I have always enjoyed your comments. However, we are not on the same side in the EU debate.

No one in the EU is going to negotiate a trade deal or even heads of agreement, in advance of the Referendum outcome, but some facts are inescapable. The Trade figures for April released yesterday show Imports from the EU at £10 billion and Exports at £6 billion. They need us and it will devastate their economies if no trade deal is negotiated. We exported £2.7 billion to Germany and imported £5.2 billion from them. They are our largest EU trading partner and would be the worst hit if there was no trade deal. Luckily for us they have serious clout in the EU. Our largest non EU trading partner, where there is no trade deal in place is the USA, where we exported £4.4 billion and imported £3.4 billion. The only reason we need a trade deal with the EU is because of their high tariff protectionist policies. It has been proven time and again that protectionism eventually fails, because it promotes inefficiency and is a barrier to trade in the long run. That is why our non EU trade is outstripping the EU every month.

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Out of my mind
By runningmate
10th Jun 2016 07:34

I do think that the 23 June vote will be followed by a period of uncertainty & political & economic instability.
If Remain win there will be issues concerning when David Cameron will resign & who will replace him and should there be a General Election, and when will be the next referendum on Brexit.
If Leave win there will be issues concerning when David Cameron will resign & who will replace him and should there be a General Election, and what trade deals should be negotiated with other countries.
RM

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By Knight Rider
10th Jun 2016 09:11

Were the Clash writing a prophetic song about the EU when they asked "Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble, if I stay it will be double?"

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joe
By Smokoe Joe
10th Jun 2016 10:00

The point is, if the politicians and economists had any clue how business and the economy worked we would not have the mess we do now, the future is always uncertain, but less so if you are in control of your destiny - decisions by committee never works.

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By StephenGuy
10th Jun 2016 16:47

Voting to remain is NOT a vote for certainty or stability. Remaining in the EU won't provide any certainty, other than that things will not remain as they are. We certainly don't belong to the club the country voted for in 1975. For me the big question is what will the EU become, and do I want to be part of that.

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mcleod tartan
By K McLeod
11th Jun 2016 09:16

In 1914-18 Britain saved Europe. In 1939-45 again Britain saved Europe from dictatorship. Now we have the chance to again save Europe from dictatorship.

Make no mistake, if Britain votes to leave the EU we will be followed by half the existing members whose citizens also want to be free of the German dominated EU dictatorship.

Whatever happens Cameron, Corbyn & Co are now totally discredited, proven liars, and unfit to govern.

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Replying to K McLeod:
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By pauljohnston
12th Jun 2016 08:03

I have voted so nothing can change that. In the very beginning of this debate Cameron went to Brussels etc to see if he could sort out the problems. As I read it he got lots of promises and nothingelse. What was not reported is what else was said. So in my view we have one lot of potilicians talking with with another lot. We all know how honest politicans are and now we are being to asked to vote on what we were told what was said... That is an awfully to take on board and believe.

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By petersaxton
14th Jun 2016 04:21

So you like the "certain" disaster of millions of economic migrants from Africa, Asia and Europe coming to the UK and receiving benefits? Even if they work they will still get tax credits and housing benefit. We will have to find places to house them, educate them and/or their children, find interpreters for them, We will have to take care of their health care needs. We will have to accept these people living on rubbish tips and [***] in the street. I don't like the "certainty" you pine for.

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