#EmbraceSpain XX: Respect for the general interest of the public will measure the success of Brexit

#EmbraceSpain XX: Respect for the general interest of the public will measure the success of Brexit

The implementation of the “Brexit bill” was discussed at the request of the opposition in Parliament. Once the House of Lords decides on it, Article 50 can be triggered and the exit will be negotiated with Brussels.

This week at Del Canto Chambers, both the Brexit and the floor clauses continue to set the agenda for our corporate work. In addition, we added to our field of activity real estate claims to banks for the security deposits they held in trust from Spanish and foreign buyers, especially British, for houses that ended up unfinished or demolished as a result of the housing bubble.

In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons discussed amendments to the Brexit Act, pending the final discussion by the House of Lords of the government’s plans to leave the community area. Given the imminence of the call for negotiations with Brussels, the European Union is urged not to damage trade relations with the United Kingdom. In this regard, the EU maintains a friendly discourse regarding the City of London. Negotiations between the two parties should not neglect the general interest of citizens on both sides of the Channel.

From an economic point of view, business confidence continues to grow, and so do the numbers for the elaboration of agreements, which have reached their best start since 2008, while in the real estate sector the new social care precept has increased the Council Tax by 2%.

Keeping on with our campaign #Embracespain, we are moving forward with the organization of the #BrexitOpportunities breakfasts, together with the Spanish newspaper El País. These events will be held in Madrid on 28 February and in the City of London on 19 April, with the aim to establish a constructive dialogue on Brexit between the institutions and the business world from both countries, Spain and the United Kingdom.

In Spain, the process for the floor clause claims continues, pending the Supreme Court to establish the final sentence on these clauses, scheduled for mid-February.

The recognition agreement of the Royal Decree approved by the Spanish government with regards to the extrajudicial procedure for the reimbursement of floor clauses was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE). In addition, companies will also have the right to claim these clauses following a ruling from the Toledo Provincial Court. These are the claims, along with those of mortgage costs, that banks are receiving the most.

As per taxes, the Tax Agency is receiving a large amount of criticism from the legal sector, especially from Spanish Lawyers, for its proposal to demand that public defenders pay VAT. In this sense, the Central Economic-Administrative Court (TEAC) issued a recent ruling for the unification of criteria, declaring these salaries unattached at the same level as those of the other workers.

The Ministry of Finance, on the other hand, continues with its tax collection efforts and is looking into tightening the vehicle registration tax, which could affect some 830,000 vehicles, just when the European Commission (EC) has called attention to Spain regarding the application of environmental taxes.

Besides, our Managing Partner, León Fernando del Canto, has published an opinion piece in the Financial Instruments Tax & Accounting Review magazine in which he bets for applying universal jurisdiction principles and CDPs for tax professionals in order to effectively fight against international tax fraud.

Lastly, Qatar has improved its trade relations with the European Union: the total volume of bilateral trade between the two players grew by about 17,000 million euros. Domestically, the Central Bank of Qatar (QCB) increased the number of loans to the real estate sector.

As we have previously pointed out, there are just the last bureaucratic details left for the effective start of Brexit, and negotiations between the two parties should not leave aside the general interest of citizens on both sides of the Channel. This respect for the citizens could serve as a yardstick to gauge the success of Brexit and a guarantee that the breaking off with the EU will not become a complete breaking off with Europe.

From the Canto Chambers we will continue to share our opinion on this historic process through our blog and social networks, such as Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook.

Xavier Nova (@ xavinova)

Director of Del Canto Chambers

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