Brexit power-brokers are laughing all the way to their offshore banks. For now.

Celize: one of many tax havens
Tom Coburg

The EU apparently wants to block access to offshore tax havens. But thanks to Brexit, the UK and its offshore territories will probably not be affected. This will benefit investors, like certain Brexit power-brokers. And it will also benefit their allies in the US, like billionaire Robert Mercer.

Winners

Key Brexiters with offshore financial interests include:

  • Leave.eu backer Arron Banks. He has business interests in Belize and is listed in the ‘Panama Papers’ as a shareholder of PRI Holdings.
  • Leave.eu chief executive Elizabeth Bilney is also listed as a PRI shareholder.
  • Hard Brexit backer Jacob Rees-Mogg MP. He owns Saliston to hold property that belonged to his father and which also looked after his stake in Somerset Capital Management. Rees-Mogg pocketed more than half a million pounds when his British Virgin Islands-based company, Lloyd George Management, was bought by a Canadian bank.
  • Tory financier and former deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft is domiciled in Belize, and kept hundreds of millions of pounds in the Bermuda-based Punta Gorda Trust fund.

Another Brexiter, meanwhile, is apparently doing alright without offshore backup:

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Tangled web

Then there’s the US link:

Trump backer Robert Mercer is director of eight Bermuda-based companies. He reportedly financed behaviour manipulation specialists Cambridge Analytica (CA) and advised Leave.EU (fronted by friend Nigel Farage) to make use of CA’s expertise.

Recently, Trump confidante and CA board member Steve Bannon met with Rees-Mogg and Farage in London.

Asked about the meeting, Raheem Kassam, former Farage chief-of-staff, said:

Brexit and the election of President Trump were inextricably linked, so the discussions focused on how we move forward with winning for the conservative movements on both sides of the pond, how you build movements, on the ground and digitally….

CA is now under investigation [pdf] by the US Senate as part of an inquiry into links between Trump and Russia.

Other investigations

Authorities in Canada have launched an investigation into AggregateIQ (whose IP was owned by Mercer) regarding work for Vote Leave, fronted by Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove. The UK Electoral Commission is also investigating Vote Leave.

Another inquiry is underway by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office into data analytics for political purposes.

Bleak

For those with offshore accounts, it’s a laugh a minute.

But for everyone else, however they voted in the EU referendum, the future looks bleak.

Unless, of course, we unite and organise for a better future.

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– Read more from The Canary on Brexit.

Featured image via dronepicr/Flickr Creative Commons

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