Latest Issue

The strange survival of the EU state aid rules

State aid rules stop governments giving unfair handouts. Britain has pledged to keep them after Brexit, but how to build a regime that works?

By George Peretz  

Theresa May and Donald Tusk in Brussels. Photo: POOL CHRISTOPHE LICOPPE/Belga/PA Images

State aid rules are a major feature of the EU internal market. They confer large powers on the Commission to prevent member states from giving unfair handouts to firms. They can affect very many aspects of national policy, from tax policy to industrial strategy. One might have thought that, post-Brexit, they would vanish from the UK. After all, Britain is seeking a looser relationship with Europe.

But, on the contrary, a quiet consensus has emerged that they will…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect