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Government confirms state aid position after ‘no-deal’ Brexit

24 August 2018

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has, alongside other technical memoranda, officially confirmed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, state aid law will continue to apply and be dealt with by the Competition and Markets Authority.

We were already aware of plans for state aid to be enforced by the CMA, but this confirms that the rules will continue to apply and be enforced in the UK even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This is despite state aid proving an irresistible target for ministers looking for examples of the bureaucratic shackles that the UK should shake off by leaving the Union.

This will be unwelcome news for many who have been frustrated by the application of these rules in the UK. Although the current rules on state aid may go further than those required by the WTO, retaining these rules will ensure compliance with WTO requirements, which will continue to apply after any no-deal Brexit.

Any hopes that state aid granted in the UK would be subject to less scrutiny in the event of a no-deal Brexit will now be dashed, so anyone giving or receiving state aid will still need to carefully navigate this complex area of law.

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