As we share a land boundary with the Irish Republic, which has had rapid growth, it is important that we have the right economic conditions. I was glad to hear the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) indicate that one of the changes required was to reduce the level of corporation tax. The level of taxation, including stealth taxes and so on, has never been higher in the United Kingdom. That is one of the reasons for our decreased competitiveness.
Several Labour Members have talked about the threat to the environment, and it is significant that that argument has appeared just when the Chancellor is running out of stealth taxes and must find a new excuse to get us to open our wallets and pay more. The threat of freezing or drowning—or frying, if we are talking about global warming—seems to be the Chancellor’s next ploy to get his hands in our pockets. It is essential that we have a low tax base.
He was then asked:
Mr. Devine: The hon. Gentleman is a staunch supporter of the Union, but he seems to be arguing for Northern Ireland to have a different taxation policy that is more akin to that in the Republic? Is that correct?
Sammy’s reply? “Absolutely not!”