UKIP MEP Ray Finch is backing a Southampton business that says it could be forced to close if it is compelled to pay a £140,000 tax bill levied because of mistakes made by EU Commissioners. Despite admitting flaws in a scientific test used to determine the import tariff for sports-nutrition supplements sold by CLF Distribution, the EU is still expecting the company to pay up. It’s a state of affairs Mr Finch has derided as ‘farcical.’
CLF Distribution employs 170 people and is based on the Nursling Industrial Estate in Southampton. The company has spent four years fighting the EU’s ruling. Now, the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre has finally agreed that the test, which calculates the milk fat content in whey protein, and therefore the level of import duty, is inaccurate. However, the Commission will not intervene to amend the testing regulations because of fears other affected businesses might try to claim for overpaid duty.
Ray Finch MEP said: “This is typical of the kind of idiocy I see in Brussels day-in, day-out as Commissioners tie themselves in knots regulating everything to death. CLF Distribution is operating responsibly, yet Commissioners would rather see this important local business go to the wall than admit they’ve made a mistake. I’m asking urgent questions of them and I expect some good straight answers.
“It’s idiotic and self-interested behaviour like this that makes me throw back my head and laugh when I’m told being in the EU protects British jobs. This kind of farce proves exactly the opposite.”