Call-off stock arrangements

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 16th June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 10:00 am, 16th June 2020

I certainly do not know the number of companies operating under the previous rules, but I would be happy to drop the hon. Lady a letter with any number that HMRC may have that can be publicly disclosed. The point is that there is a relatively small number of companies; they have seen this coming and it is an optional advantage for them. In reply to the point raised by the hon. Member for Ilford North, it applies only during the transition period, which will end at the end of this year.

We will be leaving the transition period on 1 January, which is not only stated by Government but is commonly understood. That goes to the question of divergence, which was raised by the hon. Member for Ilford North. We are bound by EU law while we are in the transition period. The Government certainly do not have any interest in divergence for the sake of divergence; the Government have an interest in the ability to set our own law, including our own tax law, as we as a sovereign nation see fit. That might or might not involve divergence, but this measure will not apply after the transition period.

The hon. Member for Ilford North also raises an important question about whether there is enough time for business to accommodate rules. I cannot comment on behalf of other Departments, but it certainly is a concern that has been raised in relation to the creation of tax law. Wherever possible, the Government try to abide by rules that we introduced after 2010 in order to have a more effective tax process. As he knows, it involves several stages and periods of consultation. We are coming up to an L day for legislation to be considered for the 2020 Budget, for the autumn Budget—if there is one—and for a Finance Bill next year. There is an orderly process, but I take his point about the importance of ensuring that it is as orderly and well structured as possible.