Offshore Receipts in Respect of Intangible Property

Part of Finance (No. 3) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 20th November 2018.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay 5:30 pm, 20th November 2018

I will deal with the intervention made by my hon. Friend James Cartlidge and then I shall give way to my hon. Friend Mark Pritchard.

The idea is that something intangible is something that we cannot see and cannot hold, whereas something tangible is something that we can literally have in our hands, such as a phone or the copy of the Bill that I am holding now, or something that we can wear. Something that is intangible can be something that we own and to which we have a right. A classic argument about something intangible once concerned a Star Wars computer game, of all things: if I busily bought lots of things in that game using money, and someone else playing the game then sent their forces, which they had bought, to raid that property, would my property be being stolen? That is an interesting legal argument, although it must be said that some people might have a little too much time on their hands if they can become so involved in a discussion of a Star Wars computer game.

There are things that we own but, of course, there are also our own identities and profiles. You probably do not want me to go too far down this path, Ms Dorries, but we have previously had debates about information that is created online, and a data trail can become an asset that is worth money.