‘Agile and flexible’ subsidy system to be introduced

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The UK Government has announced plans to launch a new subsidy control system following Brexit, built upon ‘UK-wide principles’. 

The new system, brought about by The Subsidy Control Bill, will allow public authorities to deliver grants, loans and guarantees without existing bureaucracy and red tape. 

Pre-Brexit, the UK followed the EU’s state aid rules meaning almost all subsidies had to be approved by the European Commission. However, with its’ new independent trading national status, the UK is looking to realise a Brexit ambition of being able to determine its own state aid and subsidy rules. 

UK business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said that: “Today we’re seizing the opportunities of being an independent trading nation to back new and emerging British industries, create more jobs and make the UK the best possible place to start and grow a business.

“We want to use our newfound freedoms as an independent, sovereign country to empower public authorities across the UK to deliver financial support – without facing burdensome red tape.

“While the UK’s new system will be more agile and flexible, I have been clear that we will not return to the failed 1970s approach of the government trying to run the economy, picking winners or bailing out unsustainable companies. Every subsidy must deliver strong benefits for local communities and ensure good value for money for the British taxpayer.”

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He concluded that: “Today’s bill marks a clear departure from the EU State aid regime and will ensure our new subsidy system will maintain the UK’s competitive, free-market economy that has been central to our economic success and national prosperity for decades.”

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