British Overseas Territories will have to reveal the identities of people who place money in companies within their borders, under a UK Parliament legislative amendment designed to crack down on tax evasion.
Theresa May’s minority government agreed to the amendment in a dramatic, last-minute U-turn on Tuesday, following a back-bench rebellion by 19 Conservative MPs. It had earlier been resisting the move as unwarranted interference in the territories’ affairs.
Britain’s 14 overseas territories include tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. More than half the companies revealed by the leak of the ‘Panama Papers’ in 2015 are incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
The amendment, which was put forward by Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge and former Conservative chief whip Andrew Mitchell, aims to stop tax havens being used to conceal ‘dirty money’ derived from corrupt businesses and