Boris Johnson vows to cut taxes to roll out the red carpet for US firms investing in Britain after Brexit
- Mr Johnson tells US business leaders he will use Brexit to cut tax and regulation
- The PM plans to ‘take advantage of all the freedoms that Brexit can give’
- Downing Street was coy about which tax cuts Mr Johnson will target after Brexit
Boris Johnson will pledge to ‘roll out the red carpet’ for American corporations after Brexit by delivering ‘the most competitive tax rates’ in the Western world.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Donald Trump this afternoon, Mr Johnson will tell US business leaders that he will use Brexit to cut tax and regulation to make Britain more competitive.
The PM will say he plans to ‘take advantage of all the freedoms that Brexit can give’, including cutting taxes and ‘devising better regulation for the sectors in which the UK leads the world’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a Trilateral meeting with Chancellor Merkel of Germany and President Macron of France at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, U.S., today
‘As we come out of the EU, we are going up a gear,’ he will say.
‘We want a market that is open to the world. With the most competitive tax rates and the best skilled workforce in the hemisphere. And so I say to our American friends, we will roll out the red carpet.’
Downing Street was coy about which tax cuts Mr Johnson will target after Brexit, although his comments suggest they could include corporation tax, where the UK’s 19 per cent rate is still well above Ireland’s 12.5 per cent. Under existing government plans the rate is due to fall to 17 per cent in the coming years.
The Trump administration is also looking to agree a cut in the so-called Google tax on US tech corporations as part of any trade deal.
The PM will hold trade talks with Mr Trump today in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Boris Johnson met Pakistan PM Imran Khan today at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York
Speaking to reporters en route to the US, Mr Johnson said he would make it clear to Mr Trump that the NHS ‘is not on the table’. He also said Britain would not lower food and animal welfare standards in order to secure a deal.
And he said he would press Mr Trump to reduce barriers to British exports, adding that tough restrictions meant US consumers had ‘yet to eat a single mouthful of British lamb or beef’.
Mr Johnson said many exporters faced significant barriers in terms of tariffs and regulatory requirements, such as safety testing.
The PM also met New Zealand premier Jacinda Ardern at the summit in New York today
Giving a characteristically colourful example, Mr Johnson said: ‘If you try to sell British socks in North America, they currently attract a 19 per cent tariff. And the Americans insist, before they allow British socks to be sold on the US market, that they must try to set fire to them twice.’ But leading British sock manufacturer Corgi Socks told the Politico website that American regulations did not prevent the firm having ‘a good US market’.
Managing director Chris Jones said: ‘Duty tariffs are a bit of a barrier, regulations are not. We have no problem with regulations selling in the US.’
Mr Johnson’s comments on his vision for a post-Brexit world will be closely watched in Brussels, which is nervous about the prospect of a low-tax, low-regulation economy emerging on its doorstep.