In February 2022, judgment in the first domestic case on the TCA subsidy regime was handed down and in March 2022 the first international subsidy complaint since Brexit was made.
In February 2022, judgment in the first domestic case on the TCA subsidy regime was handed down (you can read our article on it here) and in March 2022 the first international subsidy complaint since Brexit was made.
On 28 March, the EU issued a request for consultations at the World Trade Organisation on the UK’s alleged discriminatory practices when granting subsidies for green energy projects. The EU say that the criteria used by the UK when awarding subsidies for offshore wind energy projects favour UK products over imported ones.
Under the UK’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, financial support is awarded to green energy projects through a bidding process. The Government says that the aim of the CfD scheme is to incentivise investment in renewable energy by providing developers of these projects, which have high upfront costs and long lifetimes with direct protection from the volatile wholesale energy prices. They are also said to protect consumers from paying increased support costs when electricity prices are high.
The EU says that when assessing bids for CfD support, the UK government applies a local content criterion to determine the eligibility of operators and whether they receive financial support. The EU say that this is a breach of the WTO ‘national treatment’ principle, that imported products must be able to compete on an equal footing with domestic ones and that it harms EU suppliers and increases green energy prices.
The next step in the dispute resolution process is for consultation between the parties in order to settle the dispute. If the dispute can’t be settled within 60 days, the EU can request that the WTO sets up a panel to rule on the matter.
The UK government has said that it will “rigorously contest the EU’s challenge”. It will be interesting to see what comes of this case.
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023.
Announced in September but scrapped on 17 November the investment zone proposals were very short lived. The proposal has now morphed into the proposal for a smaller number of clustered zones earmarked for investment.
Settlement agreements are commonplace in an employment context and are ordinarily used to provide the parties to the agreement with certainty following the conclusion of an employment relationship.
On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
Across the UK, homelessness is an urgent crisis, and one that is set to grow amid the rising cost of living. Local authorities are at the forefront of responding to this crisis, but with a lack of properties that are suitable for social housing across the UK, vulnerable individuals and families are often housed in temporary accommodation.
Updates include UK Shared Prosperity Fund, contracts, Subsidy Control Bill, data controller liability, Government Covid-19 procurement and Highway Code revisions.
The complex and rather nebulous transitional subsidy control regime set out in the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement and the UK’s wider international commitments has made it difficult for public authorities and those working with them to proceed with certainty where subsidies are involved.
Investment zones have been introduced by the Conservative party to get the United Kingdom (UK) ‘working, building and growing’. They are to be designated sites which provide time-limited tax incentives, streamlined planning rules and wider support for local growth to encourage investment and accelerate the development of housing and infrastructure that the UK needs to drive economic growth. Processes and requirements that slow down development will be stripped back with the intention of attracting new investment.
Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).