Ministers are said to be drawing up plans to turn the UK into the “Singapore of Europe” by slashing taxes and restrictive EU imposed regulations. The Prime Minister hinted at the prospect of tax cuts for entrepreneurs just last month. During an online Facebook event with business leaders, Mr Johnson said that his government would examine the tax and regulation environment and would do everything “to encourage and support business”.
The government’s determination to exploit the business opportunities presented by Brexit were reiterated by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
In a statement Mr Sunak said: “Now that we have left the European Union, we have an opportunity to do things differently and this government is committed to making the most of the freedoms that Brexit affords us.
“This isn’t about lowering standards, but about raising our eyes to look to the future — making the most of new sectors, new thinking and new ways of working.”
Last week, the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was forced to deny reports that Number 10 was planning to cut workers’ rights.
The Financial Times had reported that some EU protections for employees could be scrapped in reforms being considered by the Cabinet.
One such protection said to be under consideration was the 48-hour limit on the working week.
Mr Kwarteng was forced to issue a strong denial in response to the allegation.
In a social media post he wrote: “We are not going to lower the standards of workers’ rights.
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It comes as Downing Street prepares to publish a keenly anticipated new Employment Bill later this year.
Some of the measures the bill is expected to contain include extended redundancy protection for pregnant employees, as well as a new right for parents to take statutory leave of up to 12 weeks for neonatal care.
The bill will also seek to ensure that hospitality staff will be paid tips and service charges in full.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady urged Mr Johnson on Friday to deliver on his promises to voters.
She said: “The best way to do that is to bring forward the long-awaited Employment Bill, to make sure everyone is treated fairly at work.”
On Tuesday evening the prime minister will convene the first online meeting of his Build Back Better council.
The event is expected to be attended by up to 30 leaders of British industry.
The meeting will be co-chaired by the Chancellor and also attended by Mr Kwarteng.
The Prime Minister is expected to provide updates on the Covid crisis, as well as detailing his plans for economic recovery.