London: Prime Minister Theresa May will unveil her new industrial strategy on Monday, pledging to spend billions of pounds on science, technology and research to spur a new "ambitious" way of doing business in Britain.
May, who faces complex negotiations next year to secure an advantageous divorce from the European Union, is keen to persuade business to back her push to create "the conditions where winners can emerge and grow".
Her speech to the CBI, a leading business organisation, is also aimed at easing concerns among company bosses who had been alarmed by a plan from May to put workers on company boards and to tackle excessive executive pay.
May`s spokeswoman said the prime minister would reiterate her commitment to having the lowest corporation tax among the world`s 20 largest economies, having previously said she would reduce the headline rate from the current 20 percent to 17 percent by 2020.
According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Theresa May could cut it even below the 15 percent rate promised by Donald Trump before the U.S. presidential election.
"Our modern Industrial Strategy will be ambitious for business and ambitious for Britain," she will tell business leaders, according to extracts of her speech provided by the prime minister`s office.
The phrase `industrial strategy` is politically loaded in Britain, where to some critics it calls to mind the efforts of governments in the 1970s to keep struggling firms like carmaker British Leyland on life support, ultimately in vain.
But May will say she is proposing something different: "It is not about propping up failing industries or picking winners, but creating the conditions where winners can emerge and grow."
"It is about backing those winners all the way, to encourage them to invest in the long-term future of Britain. And about delivering jobs and economic growth to every community and corner of the country."
May will say her government will invest an extra 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) per year by 2020 in research and development, including a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to back technologies such as robotics and biotechnology.
The government will also launch a review of research and development tax incentives to ensure Britain`s global competitiveness as a home for scientists, innovators and tech investors, she will say.
With analysts saying that Britain faces slower growth next year after voting to leave the EU in a referendum in June, May wants to kickstart the economy to help those she has described as "just managing" and who largely voted in favour of Brexit.
Finance minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday his first major statement on his economic plans, due to be delivered on Wednesday, would not include a big new spending push because of "eye-wateringly" high public debt levels, but it would offer some help for the economy and struggling families.
May, appointed prime minister after the Brexit vote, will urge companies to run with new technologies and get better at commercialisation to develop new ideas in Britain. But she will also warn business to play fair.
"We must recognise that when a small minority of businesses and business figures appear to game the system and work to a different set of rules, the social contract between businesses and society fails," she wrote in the Financial Times.