State Aid

December 29th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

The Brexit deal agreement is accompanied by Declarations. These include a non-binding Joint Declaration of the UK and the EU on Subsidy Control Policies. These are described as “ guidance”. They may be “ taken into consideration” in the respective systems of subsidy controls.

The guidance is concerned with subsidies for (1) the development of disadvantaged and deprived areas or regions, (2) transport, and (3) research and development.

When determining the amount of subsidy for such areas, there may be taken into account (1) the socio-economic situation of the area, (2) the size of the beneficiary, and (3) the size of the investment project. However, (1) the beneficiary should provide its own “ substantial contribution” to the investment costs, and (2) the subsidy should not have as its “ main purpose or effect” to incentivise the beneficiary to transfer the same or a similar activity across borders.

Transport covers (1) airports, (2) roads, and (3) ports. Subsidies to road infrastructure projects may be granted if they are not designed “ selectively”, but provide benefits to society at large. It must be “ ensured” that open access to infrastructure is available to “ all” users on a “ on-discriminatory “ basis.

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