"State Aid: Brexit, Bailouts and Corporate Bonanzas"

  • 3 mins read

Radio 4 has broadcast a piece of analysis called "State Aid: Brexit, Bailouts and Corporate Bonanzas" which discusses whether Brexit will allow the UK to take back control of industrial policy. 

So, what will the UK's State aid position be after Brexit?

It appeared in January 2019 that the State aid rules were highly likely to remain applicable in the United Kingdom post-Brexit. Draft regulations, the State Aid (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, were put before Parliament on 21 January 2019 which effectively incorporated the State aid rules into UK law even in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. In the event of no deal, it gives the Competition and Markets Authority the function of being the UK State aid enforcement authority, in place of the European Commission, from exit day. 

The UK Government's policy on State aid has shifted since January as various sources stated that the UK Government wanted maximum flexibility to help struggling businesses following Brexit. 

Despite this, the most recent Brexit Withdrawal Agreement states that there should be a level playing field for open and fair competition between the EU and UK and requires both parties to observe the high State aid standards at the end of the transition. 

With the Brexit deadline extended and a general election looming, no-one can be sure what the UK's policy will be post-Brexit. What we can be sure about is that the debate around the State aid rules will continue to attract attention and be a key talking point in the lead up to the general election.

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