Belfast Telegraph

London 'may become a low tax casino city for the elite'

Warning: Ian Parsley
Warning: Ian Parsley

By Colm Kelpie

The UK could become a country of low taxes, low wages and London a casino city for Arab sheiks and Russian oligarchs post Brexit, it has been warned.

The chairman of the European Movement in Northern Ireland said the UK's withdrawal from the EU could also spell the end of the NHS and a hard Brexit could lead to a corporation tax rate lower than the Republic's 12.5% offering.

Ian Parsley, a former Alliance Party councillor, said there could be "managed immigration to deliberately try to attract particular people, people of high net worth".

Mr Parsley told a conference in Dublin organised by European Movement Ireland: "There could be low taxes, but also therefore low wages.

"You could end up with London becoming some sort of a casino type town for Arab sheiks and Russian oligarchs, creating a greater regional imbalance, and the people in the north of England who voted for Brexit actually suffering the most from it.

"You could certainly envisage the end of the NHS.

"You could certainly envisage severe cutbacks to the welfare system."

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Hans-Hartwig Blomeier, London director of the political foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, said that Brexit was not a major issue in Germany, and that it will not be a talking point in September's federal election.

"Brexit is not a campaign issue," he insisted.

"So we care, but not that much.

"It is one of the problems, but it is not the problem."

He added: "And that is a misunderstanding between London and Berlin.

"To think that Brexit is the most important issue and everything else is peripheral."

Belfast Telegraph