§ Mr. Newton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will circulate in the Official Report a statement on the outcome of the meeting of the Council of EEC Finance Ministers in Luxembourg on 21st October 1976, concerning the Sixth Directive on VAT.
§ Mr. Robert Sheldon
Useful progress was made at this meeting towards agreement on common arrangements for the assessment and administration of VAT within the Community but which would embody the element of flexibility necessary to take account of the differences existing between member States in their national VAT systems where those differences involve important questions of social or fiscal policy. A further meeting of the Council is to be held on 16th December with the objective of reaching sufficient agreement then to permit the proposed directive to come into effect in 1978. I hope there will be an opporunity for a debate about the proposed directive to be held in the House before that meeting.