Sunday, April 21

Day: September 8, 2020

Brexit talks: Why the wrangles over state aid?
Featured, United Kingdom

Brexit talks: Why the wrangles over state aid?

    Talks on a free trade deal between the UK and the EU have resumed in London this week with state aid emerging as a key sticking point. What is state aid? Margaret Thatcher thought Europe allowed too much of it, Jeremy Corbyn believed there was not enough: but what exactly is state aid? Since the European project was launched in 1957, member states have been banned from giving companies or industries special help that would distort competition. Governments cannot hand out subsidies, tax rebates or take stakes in companies “unless it is justified by reasons of general economic development”. But there are many exemptions. In recent years the EU has relaxed state aid thresholds for “innovation clusters”, broadband, culture and heritage, small and medium-sized compan...