The UK government has launched a charm offensive aimed at convincing major tech companies like Google to establish their local HQs in England.
Entitled “HQ:UK”, the initiative is supposed to show tech giants why the UK is the best possible base for their international operations. According to The Register, aspects of the program include speeding up visa applications, bank account access, priority treatment at the UK border, and efforts to make expansion in the UK far easier for US tech companies.
"Nowhere beats the UK as an international hub for tech companies who are looking to thrive, innovate and grow.” Baroness Shields, digital advisor to the prime minister said.
“As someone who has spent 25 years operating on both sides of the Atlantic, I have no hesitation in saying that the UK is now the best place to build a global business."
You might have noticed there’s been no mention of taxes yet, right? There’s a reason for that. Even though the UK is set to drop its current 28 per cent tax rate on corporations to 20 per cent this April, that’s still not within a superhero‘s stone throw of Ireland’s current 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate. This is why the likes of Apple, Google, Twitter and Facebook have their HQ in Ireland. It’s also why they manage to save money hand over fist every year, while also using the UK’s digital infrastructure to further their enterprises.
A fast-track visa program isn’t going to change that. It’s all about the cream, y’all. [The Register]