OECD: Brexit will have ‘major consequences for UK’

THE OECD’S secretary-general José Ángel Gurría has warned that Britain’s historic decision to leave the EU will have “major consequences” for the UK, the EU and the international community.

Gurría committed the OECD to helping the UK as it disentangles itself from the EU but stated that Brexit was not the OECD’s recommended course of action. The focus must now shift to “dealing with the outcome of this democratic process”, he said.

‘Openness, integration and diversity’

“The OECD will spare no efforts in supporting the government of the UK to make the transition as smooth as possible and advance the country’s economic and social agenda.

“We will also help the European Union and the international community best address the consequences of such a decision and chart the way forward.

“The OECD believes that openness, integration and diversity will make our economies and societies stronger and fairer. Thus, we will continue to support the European project while further reflecting on how to strengthen well-being and inclusiveness, both within our countries and globally,” continued Gurría.

What now?

One of the questions emerging from Brexit is the UK’s future involvement with the OECD and its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. The UK has been a big supporter of the initiative, but some tax experts believe that Britain’s exit from the European Union could change that dynamic.

Stephen Herring, head of taxation at the IoD, said that Brexit will not thwart the UK accountancy profession, and may present an opportunity to the UK when it comes to international tax projects.

“The same issues and opportunities that were there for the accountancy profession a month ago are still here now.

“If you look at the tax part of the profession, I think it means the UK can adopt a more distinctive approach to the BEPS project and can ‘pick and mix’ the best things out of BEPS. It may have more scope to flex our position on how BEPS will affect UK businesses.”

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