July 04, 2016 (LBO) – The British Chancellor George Osborne wants to slash corporation tax to less than 15 per cent, making it the lowest rate in any major economy, amid steps to buoy the economy after the brexit vote.
He said Britain should “get on with it” to prove to investors that the country was still “open for business,” CNBC reported.
Such a cut would take Britain close to the 12.5 corporation tax rate in Ireland. But it could anger EU finance ministers who fear a race to the bottom. The move could also alienate voters unhappy about tax deals struck with multinationals such as Google.
With the worry of brexit hanging over markets, Theresa May, favourite in the leadership debate, said she would only activate the formal notification of Britain’s intention to leave, Article 50, once the government’s negotiating stance was clear.
That means it may not occur this calendar year, a stance supported by the justice secretary Michael Gove.
Meanwhile, a group of businesses is preparing a legal challenge to prevent the government from beginning Brexit negotiations without an act of parliament.
The action, brought by law firm Mishcon de Reya, would potentially complicate Britain’s path to leaving the EU, given that a majority of MPs were in favour of remaining and many have continued to speak in favour of maintaining access to the single market.
Mischon de Reya’s legal challenge follows an article by three academics, Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King. The article argued that the government would be violating parliamentary sovereignty if it activated Article 50 on its own — because it would render redundant rights established by the European Communities Act of 1972.
“In our constitution, parliament gets to make this decision, not the prime minister,” the academics said. In addition, an activation without a parliamentary vote would not be effective, because Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty requires a state to act “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”.