The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill is a government bill introduced in the House of Commons on 20 November 2017. It passed third reading on 16 July 2018. Its introduction follows the publication of a white paper on 9 October 2017 on legislating for the UK’s future customs, VAT and excise regimes. All of the Bill’s stages in the House of Lords are scheduled to take place on 4 September 2018, and as a supply bill the Lords is ‘debarred’ from making amendments.
Amongst its provisions, the Bill would provide for the establishment of an independent customs regime once the UK has withdrawn from the EU. It would also amend existing VAT and excise legislation to abolish the EU concept of acquisition VAT and introduce a range of delegated powers including the imposition, administration, collection and enforcement of customs duty. The explanatory notes to the Bill state that the Bill does not presuppose any particular outcome from the UK’s negotiations with the EU and allows for a range of outcomes, including an implementation period or the UK leaving without a negotiated outcome. The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill and the Trade Bill are linked through the creation, and operation of a new Trade Remedies Authority (TRA). The Trade Bill provides for the establishment of the TRA, but the implementation of trade remedy measures (which would be enforced by the TRA) would be provided for in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill. No amendments were made to the Bill during committee stage in the House of Commons. At the Bill’s report stage, the Government accepted four backbench Conservative amendments (tabled by members of the European Research Group (ERG)) and two Scottish National Party (SNP) amendments. The SNP amendments and two of the ERG amendments were made without division. The other two ERG amendments (also not contested by the Government) were made on division, both by a majority of three. The Government made 46 of its own amendments to the Bill, all without division. There were three Labour Party amendments and one SNP amendment defeated on division.
This Briefing provides an overview of the purpose of the Bill and a summary of its report stage in the House of Commons. Further detail on the Bill’s provisions, and a summary of the Bill’s second reading and committee stages in the House of Commons is available in the House of Commons Library’s briefing on the Bill.