Officials and several MPs have questioned how effective public disclosure of the UK’s overseas territories would be. The disclosure measure had originally been proposed by George Osborne in 2013, but the commitment was dropped after the Brexit revelation, prompting others to get the measure on the statute book.
Some overseas territories said they were unhappy with the outcome and tried to question the UK’s ability to impose its will. Orlando Smith, the premier of the British Virgin Islands, said: “It is not only a breach of trust but calls into question our relationship with the UK and the constitutional rights of the people of the BVI.”
A doubter from the UK government has said the benefit from transparency would be “a one-hit wonder” and contended that “money will go to where it is murkiest” to other global territories where there are no public disclosure requirements.
Advocates, however have stated that it was important for the UK take action in order to reduce the number of jurisdictions enabling the hiding of assets and company ownership in offshore locations.
Aid charities have also welcomed the result, stating that the measures will help halt the corruption and tax evasion keeping the most vulnerable people in the world in poverty. By accepting the amendment, ministers will ensure the UK leads, not follow, when it comes to tax havens with links to the UK.