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Measures to support UK economy

Osborne planning to cut corporation tax to 15%

George Osborne commons 1Chancellor George Osborne is planning to cut corporation tax to below 15% to help offset any damage to confidence and economic output following the Brexit vote.

Mr Osborne was quoted by the Financial Times saying he would put more effort into Britain’s relationship with China as the country seeks to reduce its reliance on EU economies.

He did not specify a date for a further cut in corporation tax which is already due to come down from 20% to 17% by 2020.

The average across OECD countries is 25% and a further cut may cause a backlash from some EU countries. However, Brexiteers will say this is just the sort of measure that freedom from the EU can bring to Britain.

Mr Osborne is also said to be planning measures that will ensure support for bank lending.

Last week, he said he would no longer target a budget surplus in 2020 because of the expected hit to the economy from the referendum result.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the economy would need more monetary stimulus soon and he will give a further update on Tuesday when he delivers the latest financial stability report.

In another weekend of frenetic activity:

Ruth Davidson at rallyScottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has warned that Westminster should not block a second independence referendum if it has the support of Scots.

A referendum on Scottish independence would have to be endorsed by the UK government as constitutional matters are reserved to Westminster. Prime Minister David Cameron has indicated he would block such a move.

While she says another referendum would be “destabilising”, Ms Davidson told a television interviewer: “I would argue as strong as I could that we should stay part of our biggest market and closest friend.”

However, in a marked difference of view from Mr Cameron, she added: “Constitutionally, the UK Government shouldn’t block it, no.”

A spokesman for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Ms Davidson’s comments marked “major and significant shift”.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley has written to MPs urging them to back leader Jeremy Corbybn.

Mr Rowley issued the plea despite Scottish Labour leaer Kezia Dugdale stating publicly that Mr Corbyn ought to go.

Mr Rowley said the party’s focus should be on uniting against the Conservatives in the wake of Brexit rather than turning on themselves.

Photo of Ruth Davidson by Terry Murden

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