HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 c285W
Mr. Quentin Davies

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.

Mr. Lawson

The Ecofin Council met in Luxembourg on 9 October. The Financial Secretary represented the United Kingdom.

The Council discussed the abolition of fiscal frontiers, where outline agreement was reached on a number of technical issues to pave the way for the removal of frontier controls related to VAT, in particular the importance of retaining the destination principle. There will be a further discussion at the November Ecofin. The taxation of savings was also discussed, and it was agreed that the Commission should bring forward draft outline proposals on measures to strengthen mutual assistance and to combat tax fraud, for discussion at the meeting of Ecofin in November. It was agreed to send a letter to the European investment bank inviting it to make loan finance available to Poland and Hungary under the bank's normal criteria for lending from its own resources. The Commission's proposals for borrowing under the new Community instrument and through Euratom were also discussed, but no agreement was reached.