Brexit – Why did the Brits Vote to Leave?
The answer to that question is not a simple one and must take into account a myriad of different things. However, we can get a good insight by looking at one simple item of news today.
The European Commission has decided that Apple owes almost $15 Billion in back taxes to Ireland. You would think that Ireland would love that. But it’s not the case. Here’s why:
Corporate taxes in Ireland are about 12.5% vs. the 35% average in the USA. That, and an educated and less expensive workforce, has led to Apple (and Microsoft and Facebook and Google and about a dozen huge US companies) to establish facilities in Ireland. These companies employ about 140,000 people in Ireland.
It was the Irish who improved their education system to prepare its people to become a highly valued workforce. It was the Irish who decided to establish a tax system that would be attractive to foreign investment. The EU did neither of these things.
Now, the EU thinks it is unfair for Ireland to make itself more attractive to investment than the rest of Europe so they want to punish the Irish while pretending to work for them by winning for Ireland a big tax windfall.
This is all about the EU flexing its muscle and keeping a ‘curve breaker’ in line. The Irish are too smart to fall for it. They are fighting the EU ruling. In short, the Irish are doing a better job than the EU and they want the folks from the EU to butt out – almost in the same way that the Brits wanted the EU out so they could once again determine their own fate.
Of course, Apple is also fighting this and it will be interesting if the Largest US company or the European Union will prevail. The backlash against central planning and globalism seems to grow daily.