“(1) This section applies if it appears to the Secretary of State that the United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the European Union taxation and customs union.
(2) The Secretary of State must by regulations introduce a domestic deferral scheme for UK importers.
(3) In designing a scheme under subsection (2), the Secretary of State must consult with whichever relevant stakeholders deemed by the Secretary of State to be appropriate.
(4) Regulations under subsection (2) may be made only if a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, the House of Commons.”—
This new clause ensures that in the event that the UK is no longer a member of the EU VAT area, the Secretary of State must by draft affirmative regulation introduce a VAT deferral scheme.—(Kirsty Blackman.)
On a point of order, Mrs Main. Is this an appropriate moment to say a few words to thank the Committee? Perhaps I should begin by thanking you, Mrs Main, and Ms Buck, for the exemplary and impartial way in which you have both chaired our proceedings. I also thank all members of the Committee for the convivial and positive way in which we have conducted our proceedings, occasionally with a little levity creeping in, which is always a nice sign, I think.
Yes, Mrs Main, necessary and appropriate levity has been put into our proceedings. I thank all Members for their contributions, as I always say on this occasion, particularly those on our side. When the hon. Member for York Outer intervened, that was a stellar and special moment. It was a highlight on our side of the Committee.
I thank the Opposition Front-Bench spokesperson, the hon. Member for Bootle, before he disappears into the sunset—probably under the auspices of his own sunset clause. I thank him for his usual good humour. His Henry VIII quote was particularly good, but I am convinced that, as with all the others, he probably just makes them up. I can assure the hon. Member for Aberdeen North I will get my oomph back on Report. My mojo will be in fine form. I thank the hon. Member for Oxford East for the assiduous approach that she has taken to her duties on the Committee and for not mentioning on this occasion the dead dog and the bicycle, for which I am ever so grateful.
I thank the Treasury, in particular my officials, Tom Docherty, Matthew Parry, Emily Marsh and Fraser Eccles, for all the support that they have given to me personally, and the other Departments, the Department for International Trade and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that have contributed to the process. I thank our new Minister, the Under-Secretary of State for International Trade, my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness, who put in a fabulous performance on his first Committee as a Minister, with great force and great style. I thank the Whips on both sides, who are the unsung heroes. I always thank the Whips because I care about my future and my career.
I thank Hansard and the Doorkeepers. I also extend a heartfelt thank you from the whole Committee to the witnesses who appeared before us—perhaps specifically to Joel Blackwell, who has emerged as the most celebrated witness of our proceedings. I thank them all for having contributed in such a positive way.
Further to that point of order, Mrs Main. I thank you and Ms Buck for the eloquence in which you have chaired the meeting, and for your forbearance. I thank the Clerks, Hansard and the Doorkeepers for their sterling work; they have even more forbearance. I thank colleagues who have undertaken scrutiny in a forensic, good-humoured and professional fashion, and that includes the Members on the Government Benches. I also thank all our staff, Sam Goodman, Tom Peters, Sophia Morrell and Jack Jenkins, for their hard work on the Bill.
The whole debate has been pretty commensurate and pretty good. I finish with a couple of things: the Government epitaph will be “Down with sunsets!”; and, finally, “Parting is such sweet sorrow”.
Further to that point of order, Mrs Main. In addition to the other thanks, I think this has been a very good debate and we have spoken in a lot of detail about a huge variety of issues, because the Bill covers a number of different things. The amount of knowledge expressed in the room has been a good display of what Parliament can do when it is doing something in the right way.
In particular, I say a huge amount of thanks to the Clerks, who have been absolutely invaluable in their support to me. I could not have done this without them—they have been fantastic, so I thank them so much.
Further to that point of order, Mrs Main. I will not repeat all the thanks that my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary so eloquently made. I agreed with every word he said. Obviously, as the new boy on the block I thank him for his support, and I thank the Committee for being indulgent of me. In fact, the astonishing amiability and amicability of Opposition colleagues even in the face of my tetchiness is something on which I shall have to reflect over the weekend.
I thank all the Department for International Trade staff who supported me in work on the Bill. With HMT, we are bringing forward a piece of legislation that has been subject to good humoured but forensic scrutiny, not only from witnesses but from members of the Committee. I thank all the staff, Clerks and others for their support.