On 9 May 2018, the House of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee considered the draft Order in Council that the UK will use to ratify its adoption of the OECD's Multilateral Instrument (the MLI).
The Government has confirmed its intention to publish consolidated versions of double tax treaties that have been amended by the MLI prior to the changes taking effect. Two draft orders effecting changes to the UK's treaties with Switzerland and Uzbekistan were also considered by the Committee alongside the Order to ratify the MLI. In relation to Switzerland, the changes reflect those which would have been made by the MLI and so the UK will not list this treaty as one to which the MLI applies. The Government explained that this was due to the unusual domestic law implementation of double tax treaties by Switzerland.
The three draft Orders were approved by the House of Commons on 14 May 2018 and will now be presented to the Queen for approval in Privy Council. The MLI will come into force in the UK three months after the UK ratifies it. Such ratification is currently expected later this summer. In that case, the new provisions applying to withholding tax would operate on payments from 1 January 2019.