Brexit

Tory rebels binding government’s hands on tax is a bad idea

BY Maggie Pagano   /  9 January 2019

There’s a delicious irony to Yvette Cooper’s victory in leading a gang of Tory rebels to block a no deal Brexit by stopping the government’s ability to raise – or lower- taxes if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

In normal times, the notion that a wannabe Labour leader could have harnessed cross-party support to stop taxes going up would be cause for hysterical hilarity. It would certainly be a wet dream for low tax, small state Tories, many of whom who were to be found among the twenty Tory former ministers who voted for the Labour MP’s amendment on Tuesday.

But these are not normal times. If you were being kind, you might argue that supporters of the amendment were trying to steer parliament away from what they see as the most ghastly Brexit outcome, the no deal option. That’s the one which Brexiteers prefer to call moving to World Trade Organisation tariffs.