Ireland's Struggle over the European Commission's Ruling against Apple Could bring down the Irish Government
It's being reported today that "Ireland's cabinet may be given more time to decide on whether to back the finance minister's recommendation that Dublin appeal the European Commission's ruling against its tax dealings with Apple, another minister said on Wednesday."
Reuters reports that "Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Tuesday he 'disagreed profoundly' with the Commission's order that Apple should hand over to Ireland unpaid taxes of up to 13 billion euros ruled to be illegal state aid. He will seek approval for an appeal from cabinet at 1030 GMT.
The minority government led by Noonan's Fine Gael is reliant on the support of a number of independent lawmakers, a group of whom, the Independent Alliance, said on Tuesday that they were reviewing the decision and would need to further consult with Noonan, tax officials and independent experts.
If the Independent Alliance refused to back an appeal and pulled out of government, Fine Gael would no longer have sufficient support in parliament to pass legislation and the government could collapse.
"I'm sure, if people need time to understand this matter, that we will create the time and space to do this properly," Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe of Fine Gael told national broadcaster RTE when asked if Prime Minister Enda Kenny would allow the Alliance more time if they ask for it.
"We will be able to make a decision but it is appropriate that we give this the time it needs. I am very confident that this government will work its way through this issue and continue with the mandate the Irish people have given us."
The issue may be an open opportunity for Britain who has exited the European Union with their recent Brexit vote. According to the Telegraph, "Britain could cut corporation tax to attract major international companies under plans being considered by Theresa May after Apple was hit with a record tax bill by Brussels.
Downing Street said it would 'welcome' Apple to the UK after the European Commission took the extraordinary step of hitting the company with an £11billion fine.
The comments will fuel speculation that Britain – which could have left the EU within three years – is hoping that Apple could relocate here if the US tech giant re-thinks its position in the EU.
Is that even a remote possibility? While Apple has made it clear that they're committed to remaining in Ireland, Tim Cook openly 'accused the European Union of trying to re-write history and said that the decision represents a 'devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states.' He also said that the decision will have a 'profound and harmful effect' on investment and jobs in the European Union.'" Interpret that statement as you will.