whether they could agree to an European Union financial transaction tax without parliamentary approval and a referendum.The reply from Lord Sassoon was somewhat convoluted but it did give hostages to fortune:
Agreement to a directive on a financial transaction tax would require unanimity in the Council of Ministers, giving the UK Government a veto over any such proposal. Therefore such an EU tax cannot be imposed on the UK without the UK's agreement.But what, I ask myself, if it does not come in the form of a directive.
While the UK Government are not opposed to financial transaction taxes in principle, the Government do oppose a European financial transaction tax.
Any EU directive on a financial transaction tax or any other tax could not be implemented in the UK without parliamentary approval of the requisite Finance Bill legislation.