Britain must use registers to halt flow of dirty money

Tomorrow MPs have an historic opportunity to really bear down on the corruption, money laundering, tax avoidance and evasion that pollutes too much of modern Britain.

A strong cross-party alliance of influential backbench MPs is putting forward an amendment to a money-laundering bill that would make our UK overseas territories — notorious tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands — develop open, public registers of beneficial ownership.

Public registers would help us know who owns what and where the money is flowing. That transparency is vital in the fight against money laundering and tax avoidance by crooks, kleptocrats and terrorist gangs.

The National Crime Agency reckons that £90 billion is laundered through Britain each year — which equals four per cent of our GDP. 

Our secretive tax havens are central to this. For instance, 85,000 properties owned in the UK by companies are incorporated in our tax havens. Half of

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