It is still too close to call. And the odds are still on a Tory victory. Even so, with the polls narrowing, with lots of constituencies likely to change hands and with plenty of voters still to make up their minds, there is still a real chance that by Friday morning Jeremy Corbyn could be moving into Number 10. For anyone with money and worst of all anyone who owns a company, a reign of terror will be about to begin.
The Labour party has come up with so many different ways to harass and intimidate business it is hard for even the nerviest plutocrat to keep track of them all.
Whole industries will be nationalised without much in the way of compensation. The Treasury will grab ten per cent of most companies under the guise of worker’s control. Union rights will be increased. Taxes will go up, especially on companies. And that is just for starters.
After four decades as one of the most business-friendly major economies in the world, Britain will be turned within weeks into one of the most hostile. But, hey, there is always one consolation to fall back on. There are plenty of places that are a little more welcoming than Jezza’s Venezuela-with Drizzle. Like where? Here are the top five places where you might want to start checking out office space before the rush starts.
Monaco might once have been ‘a sunny place for shady people’ in Somerset Maugham’s classic phrase, but it has since been turned into a glitzy haven for the super-rich. It doesn’t have much to offer companies, but it has always been the perfect place to shelter a few million.
Switzerland doesn’t do secrecy anymore. It has long since shared information with tax authorities around the world. But taxes are low, especially in cantons such as Zug, where the hedge funds and crypto-currency crowd hang out and it is completely safe.
In the last few years, Gibraltar has become an attractive location especially for internet based companies. Corporate taxes are tiny and are usually only payable on business inside the territory which will be a small to non-existent percentage of turnover for most companies.
Bulgaria now has a flat tax of just ten per cent for both companies and individuals and there is always the Black Sea coast if you need a break from Sofia.
The Bahamas, along with most of the Caribbean islands, have both low personal and corporate taxes. Plus they speak English, operate under a version of British law and have great beaches.
Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell might not realise it but the world has become more mobile than ever. Many of the most successful British companies and many of its brightest entrepreneurs, are doing business around the world. With a few laptops and a decent broadband connection – which come to think of it they won’t have in the UK anymore after it has been nationalised – they can operate from just about anywhere.
A Labour government can impose huge tax rises if it wants to and it can demonise wealth creators. But there are lots of other places people can go and they can move very quickly.