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The EU’s Big, Post-Brexit Idea? Tax Everyone in the EU

Facing a budget gap with the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU, the European Commission recommended new, EU-wide taxes to pay for services.

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Taxes and burdensome regulations are two of the reasons voters in the UK chose to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016. Now that the UK is planning to leave, the EU’s big idea to make up for lost UK revenue is…EU-wide taxes.

That is according to a new Bloomberg story on a recent report from the European Commission, the “executive arm” of the EU:

The European Union should consider introducing common taxes as it seeks to overhaul its budget and cover a more-than 10 billion-euro ($11.4 billion) annual financing hole created by Brexit, the bloc’s executive arm said.

…Among the options tabled is applying common energy or environmental taxes “to ensure a level playing field between companies and contribute to the global fight against climate change.” Also, revenue from the issuance of currency “could in the longer term become the basis for an EU own resource,” while receipts from auctions under the emissions trading system, and emission premia for cars could also be used to finance the bloc’s policies.

Bloomberg also notes that the UK’s departure could leave a two-percent gap in the EU’s “total public expenditure,” since the UK is the bloc’s “second-largest net contributor,” after Germany.

Meanwhile, even EU leaders committed to staying in the union are moving in a different direction. This week, French President Emmanuel Macron is rolling out major labor reforms that will cut down on regulations and help businesses in France.

Whether the EU moves forward with its tax ideas remains to be seen, but if they do, it will undoubtedly rankle some in the bloc.