HC Deb 26 November 1980 vol 994 cc85-6W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

asked the Prime Minister, further to her reply dated 26 March, Official Report, column 567, to the hon. Member for Grimsby concerning the raids by staff of the Commission of the European Economic Community on the premises of British companies, whether the Government will introduce legislation giving Government Departments, including in particular the Inland Revenue, similar powers where breaches of rules and regulations are suspected.

The Prime Minister

Rights of entry to business premises, similar to those conferred on Commission officials for the purposes of investigating breaches of the Community's competition rules, are already conferred on a number of United Kingdom Government Departments for the purposes of specific enactments. The question whether any new rights need to be conferred on Government Departments can be decided only on an individual basis, taking into account the problems of enforcing any particular enactment. A committee under Lord Keith is currently considering the enforcement powers of the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.