John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con):
If the Chancellor of the Exchequer wishes to lower the VAT rate or to take something out of VAT altogether, will that be a good law for Northern Ireland as well as for the rest of the UK, and can we now set taxes for the whole country?
Chris Heaton-Harris (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland):
On the example my right hon. Friend has given of VAT, that has just been done for a number of different things. I believe the latest one was solar panels, but I will check with those in the Box. There are various other products, and I will get an answer for my right hon. Friend. But, yes, is the answer for VAT, and also for tax.
The regulations address the concerns that have been expressed in parts of the Unionist community in Northern Ireland that its status has been diminished. Let me say from the outset of our discussions that what the Government wanted and the Democratic Unionist party wanted, and which we had, was our shared determination to strengthen our Union.