The Telegraph accused Thompson & Morgan of exploiting the Channel Islands to avoid VAT yesterday.
My sources in the Channel Islands have been doing their work and note that T & M did buy a company in Guernsey in 2007:
Horticultural supplier Thompson & Morgan has acquired Guernsey-based Rainbow Flowers.
The acquisition provides Thompson & Morgan with the opportunity to broaden its proposition and sell fresh and silk flowers, gifts and chocolates.
Rainbow will continue to trade under its own name with current managing director Carol Jenson remaining.
Well that's just the time the pressure began to arise on 'non-local' owners to stop exploiting the VAT rules.
Was that why T & M and Mr Fothergill both bought Channel Islands' companies at almost exactly the same moment?
I obviously don't know, but the possibility must exist.
In which case both, of course, acted legally - as do others who exploit this loophole. But that doesn't stop it being exploitation of a loophole. And it just adds to the tally of losses to the UK Exchequer that might have arisen as a result.