WITH new UK prime minister Theresa May apparently determined to fulfill the wishes of the Brexit referendum result backing Britain leaving the European Union, what EU accounting and taxation laws will ultimately remain on the British statute? The PM has made it clear she recognises that a key force behind the ‘leave’ vote was a dislike of unrestricted EU immigration into Britain, and should she satisfy that demand, the prospect of the UK becoming a non-EU member of the European Economic Area (EEA) will become most unlikely.
Non-EU EEA states such as Norway and Iceland have to accept EU immigration (with some recourse to emergency controls in cases of social unrest) in return for admission to the EU single market for industrial goods and services, which of course includes accountancy. No such admission to the EU single market for services exists for Switzerland, which retains strong links with the EU, but which is also mulling EU immigration controls. So single market laws laying down rules on accounting, bookkeeping and company formation may not apply in Britain, assuming it will quit the EU, which could well happen within 2019 under the EU’s article 50 schedule for departing member states.