LONDON (AP) -- Britain says it has struck a deal with France, Germany, Spain, and Italy to share financial data and fight tax evasion.

The British government says a pilot program will be developed that allows for data to be automatically shared among the five countries. The terms of the deal were outlined in a letter to the European commission Tuesday.

David Gauke, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, says the program seeks to set a new standard for the automatic exchange of tax information. He says it builds on agreements previously reached with the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey as well as talks ongoing with overseas territories.

The British government has made it a priority to crack down on tax avoidance.

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