Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to cut corporation tax from 20% to 15% to encourage businesses to keep investing in the UK, according to news reports.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Osborne said the cut is part of plans to ensure the UK has a “super-competitive” economy. He said it was important for Britain to prove to investors that the country was “still open for business” following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
If the plans go ahead, the UK will have a lower corporation tax than any other major economy, according to the BBC.
Osborne’s announcement comes as a law firm, Mishcon de Reya, is seeking assurances that the government won’t invoke Article 50 (the part of the Lisbon Treaty which sets out how an EU country might voluntarily leave the EU) without an act of parliament.
The law firm, acting on behalf of businesses and academics, said it would be unlawful for a prime minister to trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote.
Kasra Nouroozi, a partner at Mishcon de Reya, said: “We must ensure that the government follows the correct process to have legal certainty and protect the UK constitution and the sovereignty of parliament in these unprecedented circumstances. The result of the referendum is not in doubt, but we need a process that follows UK law to enact it. The outcome of the referendum itself is not legally binding and for the current or future prime minister to invoke Article 50 without the approval of parliament is unlawful."
“We must make sure this is done properly for the benefit of all UK citizens," Nouroozi added. "Article 50 simply cannot be invoked without a full debate and vote in parliament. Everyone in Britain needs the government to apply the correct constitutional process and allow parliament to fulfil its democratic duty which is to take into account the results of the referendum along with other factors and make the ultimate decision.”