European Council and North Africa — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:12 pm on 7 February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Kilclooney Lord Kilclooney Crossbench 8:12, 7 February 2011

My Lords, because of the shortage of time, I shall ask two brief questions. One relates to corporation tax. It is widely reported in both the United Kingdom press and the southern Irish press today that both President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel have recommended a standard rate of corporation tax. Was that proposal to apply to eurozone countries only or to all member nations of the European Union? Was the principle of a common corporation tax agreed or opposed by the United Kingdom?

My second question relates to Egypt. If you watch Al-Jazeera television or Press TV, you will see increasingly that the European Union and the United States are coming out of this problem very badly indeed. For example, when you see that the United States provided tear gas canisters to the Egyptian police to fire on the demonstrators, that is very bad publicity. In fact, the United States seems to be in total disarray about what to do about Egypt, and the European Union is not very clear either, even in the Statement repeated this afternoon. We now know that both Germany and France have stopped all further sale of firearms to Egypt. Has the United Kingdom stopped the sale of firearms and, if not, why not?