What will G8 do about Syria and taxes?

Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, David Cameron and Barack Obama attend working session of the G8 summit

The G8 is likely to reach agreement on Syria today, Downing Street believes, although the exact wording of any statement is still the subject of tense negotiations.

The issue which is causing most difficulties is what the G8 should say about the transition to a new Syrian government after any new round of peace negotiations.

President Putin has already signed up to the idea of what are known as the Geneva Two talks but is thought to be resisting wording which suggests that it is inevitable that Syria's President Assad will be replaced.

While the G8 leaders focus on tax this morning, their "sherpas" - summit jargon for officials - are hammering out possible wording of a statement on Syria. The areas on which the G8 seems likely to agree are :

  • Increased humanitarian aid and international agreement to facilitate access for organisations like the Red Cross
  • Combating jihadists within the Syrian rebel movement
  • Opposition to the use of chemical weapons (albeit that Russia does not accept that there is clear evidence that the regime has used them)

On the issue of tax transparency, Downing Street predicts that, while there will be agreement to produce registers of who really owns companies (so-called "beneficial ownership"), not all G8 countries will agree to publish such information - a key demand of aid organisations.

Chancellor George Osborne told BBC Radio 4 this morning that the UK government was consulting on whether to do this anyway. He claimed that more progress had been made in the past 24 hours than in the past 24 years.

Although many tax campaigners will complain that the expected G8 deal does not go far enough, most concede that the discussions here mark a turning point in the campaign to expose tax criminality and to pressurise global corporations to pay more tax in the countries where they make their profits.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    #80. Steve_M-H
    "The problem with the left's moral repugnance though mate is that it is selective, not objective. Its not even subjective. Morals and the left are oxymorons."

    Steve(?), Steve, Steve....
    How do you square being a UKIPer and lecturing the brethren on morality?

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    From all the previous posts on here and from the news, it would appear that the government achieved nothing worth mentioning at the G8 summit.
    Tinkering round the edges of tax law to sound good but achieve very little and a half hearted agreement on Syria, David Cameron wanting regime change and Russia opposing regime change as a precursor to peace talks in Geneva.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.


    "Only by acknowledging what Gordon Brown did right can you gain permission to criticise what he did wrong."
    I like this approach ! Similarly, only when Ed Milibandwagon and Ed Balls acknowledge what Gordon Brown did wrong, can they gain permission to praise what he did right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.


    The problem with the left's moral repugnance though mate is that it is selective, not objective. Its not even subjective. Morals and the left are oxymorons. Should never ever be seen together in the same sentence, unless its whole life without remission.


    He only did one thing right and he did it years too late. Resign. Keeping us out of the euro was to spite Blair, nothing else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    #69 DC received an inheritance on which IHT was paid.

    What his father did was neither aggressive nor tax avoidance. If I decide to put money in an offshore bank account that is in a tax haven that is not tax avoidance although if I fail to declare the interest received on my tax return that is tax evasion.

    But of course facts are clearly less important to you


Comments 5 of 83


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