U.K. Can’t Be Singapore-on-Thames After Brexit, Noonan Says

  • May will be bound by OECD guidelines curbing tax breaks
  • Irish finance minister says bankers checking Dublin schools

Noonan: U.K. Can't Be Like Singapore Post-Brexit

The U.K. will have to play by international rules after it exits the European Union, limiting its ability to use tax breaks to woo investors, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.

Prime Minister Theresa May will be bound by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development guidelines after Brexit, Noonan said in an interview with Francine Lacqua and Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, when asked if the U.K. could become a lightly regulated, low-tax rival for the EU.

Potential U.K. company tax cuts aren’t a major concern, Noonan said. Asked if the U.K. could become similar to Singapore in terms of corporate-tax regime, Noonan responded “no, it’s not possible” because of OECD guidelines curbing tax breaks.

Ireland’s government is hoping the nation’s 12.5 percent corporate-tax rate will aid its race to win finance jobs that may move from London as the U..K. prepares to leave the EU. Dublin could potentially gain between 12,000 and 15,000 financial-sector jobs as a result of Brexit, Goodbody Stockbrokers has said.

There’ll be a “lot of movement into Dublin,” said Noonan, adding some bankers are already checking out schools in the city for their teenage children. 

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