Financial Transaction Tax: Court of Justice dismisses UK challenge for now


The ECJ concluded that at the present time the UK can only challenge the decision of the Council of the EU to authorise enhanced cooperation regarding the FTT. However, on the grounds it presented, the UK does not have a case against this decision. As there is no European law in place yet regarding the FTT, simply a proposal for it, a challenge against the FTT itself or elements of it is premature.

The ECJ’s ruling that the UK's challenge is premature will not prevent the UK later challenging any European legislation on the FTT eventually adopted by the 11 Member States under the enhanced cooperation procedure. It follows that the ECJ’s judgment is not dismissing the UK’s arguments in substance and these should be able to be argued by the UK once the FTT Directive has been adopted. The UK government will be hoping that the continuing threat of a challenge to the FTT will be taken into account by policymakers in designing the version of the tax to be adopted by the European Parliament.

On 14 February 2013 the European Commission published its detailed proposal for a radical and wide ranging Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). The scope of the proposed FTT would be broad and its impact on the City would be significant.

Click here to view the ECJ judgement.

You can read our previous FTT articles here:

The European Financial Transaction Tax - a levy sans frontieres

The Financial Transaction Tax debate continues

The European Financial Transaction Tax lives on

More legal difficulties for the Financial Transaction Tax