Published On: Wed, Dec 4th, 2019

NATO 2019 LIVE: Trump excites Leave voters –drops major hint about secret talks with Boris | Politics | News


Boris Johnson‘s Conservative Party has committed to implementing a digital tax on the revenue of the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon if he wins next week’s general election. The plan would see companies generating at least £500million a year in global revenue paying a levy of two percent of the money they make from UK users from April 2020. Mr Johnson said on Tuesday just hours before meeting Donald Trump: “On the digital services tax, I do think we need to look at the operation of the big digital companies and the huge revenues they have in this country and the amount of tax that they pay.

“We need to sort that out. They need to make a fairer contribution.”

But the Prime Minister’s commitment to this will put him on collision course with the US President.

Mr Trump has been at loggerheads with Emmanuel Macron, threatening retaliation against France over its digital tax plans.

Mr Macron’s plans, France’s digital service tax, which has been set at a rate of three percent of revenue derived from French users backdated to early 2019, has infuriated the US President.

Washington furiously hit back on Monday, threatening to slap punitive duties of up to 100 percent on $2.4billion of imports from France including champagne, handbags and cheese.

Speaking alongside Mr Macron on Tuesday ahead of the NATO summit, Mr Trump said: “We’ve taxed wine and we have other taxes scheduled.

“We’d rather not do that, but that’s the way it would work.

“So it’s either going to work out, or we’ll work out some mutually beneficial tax.”

Tensions within NATO have reached breaking point over recent weeks, particularly after Mr Macron accused the military alliance of suffering from “brain death”.

Following talks in Downing Street on Tuesday, the French President refused to back down, and insisted he stood by that previous description.

Mr Trump branded Mr Macron’s comments as “very nasty” before the pair met at the US ambassador’s residence in London.

But Mr Johnson will attempt to bring harmony to the top of NATO by reminding allies that it is “one for all, and all for one” in the quest to keep their people safe.

During his address to the 29 NATO member states later today, the Prime Minister is expected to say: “Seventy years on, we are rock solid in our commitment to NATO and to the giant shield of solidarity that now protects 29 countries and nearly a billion people.

“The fact that we live in peace today demonstrates the power of the simple proposition at the heart of this alliance: that for as long as we stand together, no-one could hope to defeat us – and therefore no-one will start a war.

“This essential principle is enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty – that if any one of us is attacked, all of us will go to their defence.

“If NATO has a motto, it is, ‘one for all, and all for one’.”

Last night, leaders gathers at Buckingham Palace and Downing Street to mark 70 years since NATO was formed.

They smiled for the traditional “family photo” despite the divisions between some of the leaders and protests attended by nurses and doctors worried by a possible threat to the NHS from a future UK-US trade deal.

Mr Johnson has insisted the health service will not be on the table when it comes to any trade deal struck with the US.



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