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Published 12 July 2016
It will come as no surprise that at the forefront of everyone's minds at the moment is Brexit and what it means for their lives both personally and professionally. As EU lawyers at DAC Beachcroft, we had already given a great deal of thought to what an "out" vote could mean for competition, state aid and public procurement rules, all of which are intrinsic to the EU Single Market, currently the world's largest economic zone.
The big question is what happens now? At the moment, nothing really changes. Article 50 TEU needs to be invoked by the UK giving formal notice, after which we can expect at least two years of negotiations. In the meantime, all the relevant laws will continue to be applied (and enforced) as before.
Once negotiations have been settled, the picture is likely to be as follows:
Here, we run through a detailed analysis for each set of rules:
If the UK decided to go down this route, because of the close (trade) relationship between the parties, it is likely that state aid rules would continue to apply in at least some form.
Because of the close (trade) relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU, the current public view is that this is unlikely to happen. However, even in this case EU state aid rules could continue to apply to the UK. Apart from access to the EU Single Market, the other potentially important factor for the continued adherence to EU state aid rules would be the UK’s access to EU funding. For example, last year the British Business Bank and LEPs in the North of England created the Northern Power House Investment Fund with over £400m of funding, most of it coming from the EIB, which also invests outside the EU. Numerous other EU funding programmes are on their way.
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