Taxation (Post-transition Period) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:27 pm on 9th December 2020.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 3:27 pm, 9th December 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for the question. He is right that it is expected that there will be EU officials. The checks will be levied and done by HMRC inspectors, and the system that we are putting in place gives effect to the Northern Ireland protocol, which, as he will recognise, already recognises the balance that is being struck in Northern Ireland between its status under the Union customs code and its status within the UK customs system.

If I may proceed, the Bill will allow the Government to put in place decisions made by the Joint Committee on goods that are not at risk of entering the EU, ensuring that they do not have to pay the EU tariff. However, if I may underline the point, this Bill does not itself seek to specify the classes or categories of goods or movements that are at risk or not at risk. Instead, that will be set out by regulations that the Bill permits us to make once legal texts have been formally adopted. The “at risk” or “not at risk” definitions will also determine whether the UK or EU tariff applies when goods arrive in Northern Ireland from rest-of-the-world countries, again in line with the Northern Ireland protocol.

In relation to the so-called “notwithstanding” clauses, as part of yesterday’s EU-UK joint statement, the Government have agreed not to introduce these provisions into this Bill, and we have also committed to remove the three “notwithstanding” clauses from the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill.