Matthew Hall Writes Times Column on State Aid Laws in the Time of Brexit

August 12, 2020

McGuireWoods partner Matthew Hall penned an Aug. 6, 2020, column for The Times about the clarity needed on state aid subsidy policies before the next round of formal Brexit negotiations.

Hall, a member of the firm’s Antitrust, Trade & Commercial Litigation Department, wrote that “there is a deep divide” on what outlined state aid terms mean for the future trade relationship between Britain and the European Union.

“The EU says Britain should be treated differently because of its location and the interdependence of the two economies. The UK’s mantra is that it has a sovereign right to pursue a bespoke approach. London’s position is logical. The state aid rules are designed to level the playing field between EU countries,” Hall wrote.

“If Brexit has any advantages, one is the ability to target industries and projects, protect jobs and compete with the EU for investment.”

If the UK government proceeds with a light touch on state aid policies, Hall said, “[t]hat could blow up the EU negotiations on its own, but the advantages of having a freer hand in this area will likely be seen as more important.”