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Public register commitment is 'significant victory for UK Parliament'

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge and Conservative Andrew Mitchell

MPs respond to proposed changes to Islands' beneficial ownership

The two MPs, who have been at the forefront of a campaign for greater transparency in the Crown Dependencies, say today's announcement is a 'significant victory for the UK Parliament.

Dame Margaret Hodge and Andrew Mitchell, MPs who have long campaigned against what they have called tax secrecy in offshore nations, have branded today's response by Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man 'as a demonstration of their willingness to listen.'

In a joint statement, they say the move is important first step towards the fight against tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering.

Last year, the pair were instrumental in the introduction of public registers of beneficial ownership in Britain’s Overseas Territories.

They say now it is vital that the Crown Dependencies follow suit. 

Despite welcoming the news they said 'we need to see a clear and unambiguous commitment', citing the timetable for bringing this legislation into force will be 'determined by best practice at the time.'

The MPs also say the timeline to introduce the public registers is 'unacceptably long' and have called for further details of assurance that they will be genuinely open, asking whether they will be free to access or whether there will be a charge for the public. 
 
Until then, the pair say they intend to pursue their plans to introduce legislation to force the open registers of beneficial ownership in the Crown Dependencies.

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