Scuffle of the week

Channel Islands v European Union. A proposal by the European Union to create a system to exchange information between tax collectors and bankers has been angrily refused by the governing parties of the islands of Jersey and Guernsey.

The islands, regarded as a tax haven for the rich, have vowed to resist any efforts made by the UK or the rest of the EU to make them take part in the scheme. Frank Walker, Jersey's chief finance minister, told the Financial Times: 'We will not be forced to do anything against our will.'

Jersey's reasoning behind the refusal is that it would be near impossible to implement and that there would be great difficulty differentiating between non-EU and EU residents with homes in many different countries.

However, the Inland Revenue is not convinced by this defence, maintaining a solid stance. In the same report a spokesperson said: 'There would be an obligation to provide us with automatic returns on the EU residents.'