Finance ministers today added four countries to the EU’s blacklist for tax havens outside the bloc, including Panama and U.K. territory Cayman Islands.
Ministers updated the naming and shaming exercise at the EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels, adding the four new countries to the existing eight-country list. Palau and Seychelles were the other two new entrants.
The blacklist in full includes: American Samoa, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Guam, Oman, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.
Blacklisting the Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, should be a warning to the U.K. in the context of post-Brexit talks between London and Brussels, German conservative lawmaker Markus Ferber said in a statement.
“This sends a clear signal that the idea of turning the UK into a tax haven will not be acceptable to the EU,” said Ferber, a member of the European People’s Party.
EU governments first introduced the blacklist in December 2017 with 17 countries after a series of tax dodging scandals, such as the Panama Papers, which revealed to what extent companies and individuals have gone to avoid paying their fair dues.
A U.K. spokesperson said the country was “aware of the EU decision.” “As a self-governing and fiscally autonomous jurisdiction we encourage Cayman and the EU to work closely to resolve any outstanding issues,” the spokesperson added.
Ministers today also updated the EU’s graylist, which includes countries that have promised to correct their tax practices to avoid the blacklist.
Graylist countries include: Anguilla, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Eswatini, Jordan, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Thailand, Turkey.