Zangana was speaking at the Brexit debate at the International Adviser Fund Links Forum in London this week.
He said that EU countries divided into four informal voting groups – a liberal internationalist group including the UK, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries which favour cooperation but generally want most rules to originate domestically, a top-down interventionist group led by France with Italy and Spain, the persuadable Eastern European countries and finally Germany almost always backed by Austria.
German power may wane
He said it was significant that the internationalist group was losing its big country. Germany generally waited and listened to the debate before making up its mind on issues but if it could be won round, then the more interventionist measures could be blocked as legislation usually required around two thirds support.
This is set to change.
"We need to pay more attention to what President Macron wants today because that is where Europe is headed."
“Going forward, that group of liberal countries no longer has a big country, so the balance of power swings towards the French, the Spanish and Italians even if the Germans decide to block a measure, it may not be enough,” Zangana said.
“That is very significant. We need to pay more attention to what President Macron wants today because that is where Europe is headed. We will have a transaction tax in Europe. I absolutely believe that. We are likely to see tax harmonisation.” He added that this obviously had big implications for Ireland and Luxembourg.”
Asked about a beneficial Brexit, he said that had the UK been able to secure full single market access, through an EEA agreement, and to strike its own deals, then it could have been beneficial. But that was not on the table because other EU countries would want this as well.
He added that a recent survey of investment banks conducted by Schroders saw them suggesting that in the event of ‘No deal’ sterling coud fall to US$1.10 or US$1.12 although with a significant deal, the banks believed it could rise to US$1.40 or US$150.
Discussing the impact of Brexit, Utmost Wealth Solutions chief executive Mike Foy said that one of the big risks from Brexit was the fall of the government and a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn, with much debate about capital controls and its view of offshore centres.
He said: “The Isle of Man firmly accepts they are beholden to the UK tradition. We have to follow where the UK ends up hard or soft deal. The Isle of Man Government is spending a lot of time in Whitehall.”
He said one big worry was over Ireland-based insurers and their future status in terms of servicing historical UK business and issues such as access to compensation schemes in the event of a hard Brexit.
Mazars financial planning partner Sarah Lord said Brexit was seeing some client pause their plans.
“It depends on the clients. If it is holiday home you are thinking of buying, it may make sense to wait till the dust settles. If it is lifestyle choice or for work, you have to plan around that.”
She said some long standing clients in Dubai, who were set on moving to Portugal taking advantage of the favourable tax regime in the first ten years of residency, but who had now decided to sit tight.
“It is having an impact on people’s plans.”
She said she was telling clients to consider whether plans were a choice or a need and to consider affordability in terms of sterling and the euro. They also needed to consider what was going to happen with the state pension and even annuity payments.
“UK insurance companies might not be able to pay pensions in Europe, otherwise they might get fined. That is bonkers. We are telling clients to plan cautiously.”
However, she said clients were not fearing Brexit so much, but a change of government due to Brexit and the impact of Labour on their personal finances.