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Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

The United Kingdom's abolishment of a tax on menstrual products goes in effect today, according to a release from the government.

Why it matters: The repeal is among the first acts the U.K. is taking as part of its formal separation from the European Union because EU law prevents member nations from reducing the value-added tax on menstrual products below 5% because they are considered "luxury items."

What they're saying: “Sanitary products are essential, so it’s right that we do not charge VAT,” Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said.

  • “We have already rolled out free sanitary products in schools, colleges and hospitals and this commitment takes us another step closer to making them available and affordable for all women.”

The big picture: Other countries, including Australia, Canada and India, have also repealed their taxes on such products.

Of note: Ireland is the only EU nation that does not tax menstrual products because it did not have a tax in place when the EU set its tax rate floor, according to AP.

Go deeper

Jan 6, 2021 - Health

EU regulator approves Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

Photo: John Beckmann/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The European Medicines Agency on Wednesday recommended Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for authorization in the European Union's 27 member states.

Why it matters: This is the second vaccine to be granted approval by the regulator. The European Commission — which has purchased 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine — is likely to issue final approval this week.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The global future is looking dark and stormy

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A new 20-year-forecast for the world: increasingly fragmented and turbulent.

The big picture: A major report put out this week by the National Intelligence Council reflects a present rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. How the next two decades will unfold depends largely on whether new technologies will ultimately unite us — or continue to divide us.

10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rep. Gaetz declares he's "not going anywhere" amid sex trafficking probe

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) doubled down Friday night, saying he's not "going anywhere," and vowing, "I have not yet begun to fight," amid a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations.

What he's saying: “I’m built for the battle, and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz, who denies the allegations, said during a Women for America First event at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.