European Union (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 19th May 2008.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Deputy Leader, House of Lords, Spokesperson in the Lords, Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Spokesperson in the Lords, Home Affairs 7:15 pm, 19th May 2008

I fully understand that and I accept the distinction. Part of the problem is that as companies operate more across the single market, the opportunities for using the national laws of one country to get around the national laws of another become stronger. If one accepts that tax competition allows some Governments to undercut others beyond a certain degree then we will in time have some problems inside the European Union.

We must address the tax base. The integration of the European economy has certain implications not for the harmonisation of tax rates but for the agreement of rules of the tax base. I recall that the Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, made a speech the other week in which he talked about formal regular contributions within NATO which would be taxation on member Governments of NATO to contribute to common NATO operations abroad. That is taking us down another road towards shared contributions within international organisations. That is partly because we are now doing more together. The world does not stand still and the idea that somehow problems of tax avoidance and tax evasion can be dealt with entirely at the national level in the global economy is an illusion.

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Mr Raymond Neal
Posted on 20 May 2008 4:24 pm (Report this annotation)

Lord Wallace of Soltaire spoke about the single market. If this exists why are cars in Britain dearer than in other EU countries. Is it because of EC Council Reg. 1475/95 which permits manufacturers and dealers to operate a price cartel in Britain in breach of Article. 85 of the Treaty of Rome.