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Beneficial ownership debate withdrawn

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A CONTROVERSIAL UK bill which, if approved, would have forced the Crown Dependences to reveal the owners of companies registered in the islands, has been pulled from debate.

The Houses of Parliament

Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man looked set for a constitutional crisis as a group of senior backbench MPs looked to force a public register of beneficial ownership on the Island.

The Chief Ministers from the Crown dependencies have been in London this morning discussing the issue with UK government officials.

The amendments, which were due to be debated today as part of a wider Financial Services bill, have been lodged by Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell and Labour’s Dame Margaret Hodge and had received cross-party backing from the likes of including Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the Treasury Committee, David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, Ken Clarke, the former Chancellor, and Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General.

Jonathan Reynolds MP, who had brought one of the other amendments, tweeted: ‘BREAKING - the Govt have pulled the Financial Services Bill from the business today. There were amendments on preventing a ‘race to the bottom’ on financial deregulation and on transparency for the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies that we had hoped to pass.’

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