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Economic And Finance Council

Volume 181: debated on Friday 23 November 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the outcome of the latest meeting of the European Community's Economic and Finance Council.

The ECOFIN Council met in Brussels on 19 November. The Minister of State for Corporate Affairs and I represented the United Kingdom. Further progress was made in discussions on the investment services directive. The arrangements for VAT controls after 1992 were also discussed and I explained the importance to the United Kingdom of further consultations with industry. I also stressed the importance of setting thresholds so as to minimise the impact of VAT requirements on small businesses. The presidency gave a brief report on progress in developing a system for controlling movements within the Community of goods subject to excise duties. Discussion of travellers' allowances for duty-paid goods was postponed.The Council discussed a report from the presidency on negotiations with the European Parliament about revisions to the financial perspective of the Community budget arising from German unification and the Gulf crisis.The Commission reported on the Community's offer in the financial services negotiations in the Uruguay round. This offer received general support.