HC Deb 10 December 1981 vol 14 c474W
Dr. J. Dickson Mabon

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why discriminatory taxation levied on Scotch whisky prior to the United Kingdom's accession to the Treaty of Rome still applies in certain member States of the European Community.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

As a result of judgments by the European Court of Justice certain discriminatory practices against Scotch whisky have been removed or reduced in effect. It is for the European Community to ensure full compliance with the court's rulings, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture has written to the Commission on several occasions, most recently on 1 December, stressing the importance that the United Kingdom attaches to prompt and effective enforcement of these judgments. In discussions in the Council of Ministers on the harmonisation of excise duties on alcoholic drinks it has been a major objective of the United Kingdom Government to secure even treatment for all spirits throughout the Community.