MPs attack ministers over delay to tax havens’ public registers

British overseas territories win reprieve after threatening legal action or secession

The government has been accused of defying parliament by delaying plans to require British tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands to bring in public registers that reveal the true identity of owners of companies sheltering assets.

Foreign Office ministers have caved in after a rebellion in the British overseas territories, including threats to take the government to court or even to secede from the UK. The British-administered tax shelters have always been seen as a blight on the Conservative claim to be fighting the multibillion-pound corruption industry.

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