Taxation (Post-transition Period) Bill DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Matt WesternMain Page: Matt Western (Labour - Warwick and Leamington)
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Legislation Debates - View all Matt Western's contributions to the Taxation (Post-transition Period) Act 2020
No, the hon. Gentleman has had plenty of opportunities to intervene and, indeed, speak today, and I think I will be doing everyone a favour if I just continue. I see that the Minister is laughing as well.
On the purpose of the Bill, I would like to reflect on the comments of the shadow Minister, the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton South East (Mr McFadden), because what he said was incredibly important. I apologise if I am misquoting him but I think he talked about the Bill hovering as a threat. That is an important point to reflect on, particularly as we look at what was being undertaken last week and the entire process that we have gone through.
I want to conclude, because I am aware that I am close to havering, and in Scotland, when someone starts doing that, they should probably sit down. As we look forward to what the Bill will do for online sales and the level playing field that it will create on VAT sales, which is important—I see the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Kevin Hollinrake) nodding his head, and it is worth repeating that we agree on this point—we know that that level playing field should go further, because Northern Ireland will, in effect, have a beneficial agreement compared with anywhere else in the United Kingdom, be that Wales, England or Scotland. The level playing field that the Government are putting in place for online sales should also apply to Scotland to help our ability to access EU markets, and I would encourage the Minister to reflect on that point.
Does the hon. Gentleman not understand that, from 1 January, the EU and the UK are both full members of the World Trade Organisation, which does not allow its members to charge to trade, controls what tariffs can be levied and says to each of its members that they have to offer most favoured nation status to any other member of the WTO? That is how we do our trade with the whole of the rest of the world, which is bigger than our trade with the EU. Why can we not do that for everything?
I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to the debate. I will address the proposed amendments and then come to the specific points that have been raised.
New clauses 1 and 2, tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Sir William Cash), would, if adopted, mean that the provisions in the Bill would apply notwithstanding any domestic or international law. The House will be aware that on 17 September, the Government set out that Parliament would be asked to support the use of so-called “notwithstanding” provisions in clauses 44, 45 and 47 of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill and any similar subsequent provisions in a Finance Bill, but only in circumstances where the fundamental purposes of the Northern Ireland protocol would be undermined. Only in those circumstances would Parliament be asked to support the use of so-called “notwithstanding” provisions, as described.