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Ec (Harmonisation)

Volume 81: debated on Thursday 20 June 1985

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on the proposals of the EEC Commissioner Lord Cockfield that the Common Market should be facilitated by the harmonisation of indirect taxation and excise duties; and if he will make a statement.

The Commission has not yet made any detailed proposals for the harmonisation of indirect taxation and excise duties. The Government generally welcome the Commission's ideas on the completion of the common market, as represented by their White Paper, although they will clearly require further study. We do not, however, believe that fiscal harmonisation is a prerequisite for the establishment of a common market in goods and services and the Commission's proposals on this aspect may well prove unrealistic.