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The Conservatives’ new state aid proposals are the worst of all worlds

Johnson’s administration plans to rewrite EU subsidy rules but its proposals are a muddle

By George Peretz  

British Steel, Scunthorpe. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images

The European Union state aid rules are a keystone of the EU single market: by setting limits, enforced by the Commission, on the ability to subsidise domestic industries, they make it possible for member states fully to open their markets to each other’s goods and services, confident that their own producers will not face unfairly subsidised competition from producers elsewhere in the EU.

Last year, I wrote an article for Prospect which discussed the quiet consensus that the UK would retain these rules…

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