On 18 September, a number of leading lawyers with expertise in the area of subsidies and State aid, many of them members of UKSALA and with a wide spectrum of views on Brexit, wrote a joint letter to the Prime Minister offering to assist the UK government in developing a new UK regime to govern the granting of subsidies, building on the commitment made by the Conservatives during the 2019 election campaign. The joint letter can be read here.
As is well-known, the issue of subsidy control is a key issue to the EU/UK negotiations of a free trade agreement. Subsidies are likely also to be a key issue in trade negotiations with other countries, and, as a member of the WTO, the UK will need to operate within the framework of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, as well as being involved in possible changes strengthening that agreement. Further to the Conservatives’ statement during the election, the Government has repeatedly stated that it intends to develop a UK subsidy regime, though BEIS recently announced that it is proposing to consult next year on the possibility of further legislation.