Having been a director of Norwich Union Gibraltar, and shareholder and executive director of a Lloyd's coverholder operation, and now in semi-retirement, I have watched, and indeed participated in, the development of trans-European insurance under the auspices of the EU for the past 18 years from Gibraltar.

Needless to say the latest 'bombshell' that seems to have hit the headlines and might just hit sections of the UK insurance industry is the case between the Dutch Supreme Court and Accenture regarding VAT exemptions. Or is it a bombshell?

It would seem to me that the straightforward solution would be for businesses that may be affected to relocate partly, or totally, to a territory within the EU that is VAT free, and to me the only one with total legitimacy apropos. the EU is here - Gibraltar.

As you will no doubt be aware Gibraltar joined the EU in 1973, but is exempted from common customs tariff, common agricultural policy and harmonisation of turnover taxes (notably VAT).

While the corporate taxation situation in Gibraltar will change as from 2010 following the latest EU deliberations, this in effect will apply mainly to tax exempt companies and will not affect the position on VAT.

Indeed, from the corporate tax angle there is little difference for a company registered in Gibraltar to one registered in the UK - Corporation tax is 35%. But the difference in the VAT position would be considerable.

Clark Russell,