EU VAT area and pre-commencement requirements

Part of Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 16th July 2018.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Conservative, Broxtowe 5:30 pm, 16th July 2018

By remarkable coincidence, Madam Deputy Speaker, I am coming to the conclusion of my remarks. I want to explain why I will not press my amendments to a vote, as I indicated to the Minister last week. The reason is the production of the White Paper.

I will be very frank: the White Paper does not go as far as it should—it is silent on services, which make up 80% of our economy—but I welcome it because it absolutely marks that our Prime Minister understands the needs of British business, in particular manufacturing businesses, and is determined to do the right thing. She has come up with this third way. Whether she can achieve it remains to be seen, but I decided not to press my amendments to a vote because of my support for the White Paper and my desire to give that third way a chance.

Having done that, I believed, as a pragmatic, reasonable, moderate Conservative, that I had done the right thing by my Prime Minister and, as much as anything else, by my country. Imagine, therefore, my profound disappointment that the Government today, for reasons I can just about understand, decided to accept four amendments, two of which are not controversial but two of which—new clause 36 and amendment 73—seek to wreck and undermine this.