British finance minister heads to Wall Street for post-Brexit talks

British finance minister heads to Wall Street for post-Brexit talks

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
British finance minister heads to Wall Street for post-Brexit talks

This file photo taken on June 27, 2016 shows British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne making a statement at the Treasury in London. AFP photo

British finance minister George Osborne was July 11 holding talks with Wall Street investors, kicking-off a series of visits to leading international financial centers to build post-Brexit economic ties.

“Vital work will begin today on building stronger economic and trade relationships with the UK’s closest trading partners,” the Treasury said in a statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne headed to New York to meet investors on Wall Street.

And Osborne will next week lead a trade mission to Singapore and China after Britain last month voted in a referendum to exit the European Union, the Treasury added.

“While Britain’s decision to leave the EU clearly presents economic challenges, we now have to do everything we can to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to do business,” Osborne, who voted for Britain to remain in the EU, said in the statement.

“We will continue to be a beacon for free trade, democracy and security, more open to that world than ever.” Following the Brexit vote, Osborne is planning to slash corporation tax over fears of an exodus by big business.

According to the Treasury, he could extend planned cuts to Britain’s levy on company profits to under 15 percent. Prior to the vote, the tax rate on corporate profits was already set to be cut from 20 percent to 19 next year and to 17 percent in 2020.     

Britain’s business minister Sajid Javid on July 8 held post-Brexit talks on the country’s future trade relationship with India, the first of many such discussions he plans with world powers.

Britain is left with the huge task of forging fresh trade agreements with individual countries as a non-bloc member.

Javid has said that the British government, which will soon be led by a new prime minister after the post-Brexit vote resignation of David Cameron, plans to have up to 300 specialist staff by the end of the year to aid in the new trade negotiations.