European Union – Value added tax. The principle that abusive practices were prohibited had to be interpreted as being capable, regardless of a national measure giving effect to it in the domestic legal order, of being applied directly in order to refuse to exempt from VAT sales of immovable goods, such as the sales at issue in the main proceedings, carried out before Halifax plc v Customs and Excise Comrs: C-255/02 [2006] STC 919 had been delivered, and the principles of legal certainty and of the protection of legitimate expectations did not preclude that. The Court of Justice of the European Union so ruled, among other things, in a preliminary ruling in the course of proceedings concerning the recovery of VAT relating to sales of immovable property in Ireland.