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The second most quoted reason to vote leave is probably about ‘regaining our sovereignty’ The reason most often given is something to do with ‘foreigners’.

I have been dealing with both these issues. The EU has no influence over many important areas of our country.

Non-EU policy areas

In certain areas such as tax, defence, health, industry, culture, tourism, education, youth, sport and vocational training, civil protection (disaster prevention), administrative cooperation and many others – the EU has the right to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of member states like the UK, but not to impose any laws.

This post is about Taxation. It wont take long because this is almost totally under our control. The amount of direct tax is controlled by the Chancellor, however Europe does have influence over VAT.

The European Union value added tax (or EU VAT) is a value added tax on goods and services within the (EU). The EU’s institutions do not collect the tax, but EU member state are each required to adopt a VAT that complies with the EU VAT code. Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states, ranging from 17 to 27%. The total VAT collected by member states is used as part of the calculation to determine what each state contributes to the “EU budget”.

The EU also has no say in how countries spend their tax revenues. However, due to the increasing interdependence of EU economies, countries that overspend and go into too much debt could jeopardise growth in their neighbours and undermine the stability of the eurozone.

To minimise this risk, EU countries try to coordinate their economic policies closely, partly based on recommendations from the Commission. Some of these recommendations refer to national tax policies, seeking to make them fairer, more efficient and more growth-friendly.

Just out of interest here is a brief look at the levels of taxation in different EU countries. In the UK it is estimated at 47% This is made up of 45% tax on marginal additional annual income above £150,000, 40% between £42,000 and £150,000, 20% between £11,000 and £42,000, 0% below; plus national insurance contributions at various rates between 2% and 13.8%

The highest is Finland at 56%, here are some others Austria and Belgium both have 50%, Denmark 55.5%, Estonia 20%, France 49%, Germany 45%, Greece 46%, Italy 45%, Latvia 23%,Poland 32% and Portugal 46.5%

If you want more details they are on wikipedia

So once again our sovereignty has not been forfeited to the EU in the  major policy area of raising taxes and then deciding how they should be spent.