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European Tax Harmonisation (Veto) Bill [H.L.]

This is the European Tax Harmonisation (Veto) Bill [H.L.], as introduced in the House of Lords on 23rd March 1999.

European Tax Harmonisation (Veto) Bill [H.L.]
1.Conditions on agreement in Council of Ministers to tax harmonisation proposals.
2.Power to hold referendum.
4.Short title.





Require Ministers of the Crown to obtain the approval of Parliament and the public before agreeing in the Council of Ministers to European Community proposals for tax harmonisation.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Conditions on agreement in Council of Ministers to tax harmonisation proposals.     1. - (1) No Minister of the Crown shall give agreement to a tax harmonisation proposal in the Council of Ministers unless-
    (a) a motion in favour of his doing so has been approved by resolution of the House of Commons;
    (b) a referendum for which provision has been made by order under section 2 has been held; and
    (c) a majority of those voting in that referendum has voted "Yes".
      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), abstention shall be treated as giving agreement.
Power to hold referendum.     2. - (1) The Secretary of State may, by order made by statutory instrument, make provision for the holding of a referendum to satisfy the condition set out in subsection (1)(b) of section 1.
      (2) The provision made by an order under this section shall include provision that-
    (a) any person who would, on the day the referendum is held, be entitled to vote in a general election shall be entitled to vote in the referendum; and
    (b) voters shall be asked to vote either "Yes" or "No" to the single question whether a Minister of the Crown shall, on behalf of the United Kingdom, give agreement in the Council of Ministers to the tax harmonisation proposal referred to on the ballot paper.
      (3) A statutory instrument containing an order under this section shall not be made unless it has been laid in draft before Parliament and approved by resolution of each House.
Definitions.     3. In this Act-
    "tax harmonisation proposal" means any proposal for Community legislation that-
      (a) would have the effect of imposing new or greater limits on the ability of individual Member States to set or vary rates of direct or indirect taxes (including turnover taxes and excise duties); and
      (b) requires adoption by unanimity in the Council of Ministers;
    "Community legislation" means any binding legal instrument within the meaning of Article 189 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 249 of that Treaty after the entry into force of the Treaty signed at Amsterdam on 2nd October 1997 amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related Acts);
    "Council of Ministers" means the Council of Ministers of the European Communities.
Short title.     4. This Act may be cited as the European Tax Harmonisation (Veto) Act 1999.

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Prepared 24 March 1999