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The Squaring of the Circle:

Subsidy Control Under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Totis Kotsonis


Keywords: subsidy control, UK, TCA, level playing field, trade, Brexit

The article provides an overview of the subsidy control commitments under the TCA and considers their implications for UK subsidy control regulation. Issues considered in this context include the extent to which TCA subsidy control differs from EU State aid rules and what additional flexibilities this might offer. Consideration is also given to the remedies available to interested parties with concerns about the grant of a subsidy, the inter-Party dispute resolution mechanisms, the availability of unilateral trade defence measures, as well as the question of the different levels of harm to trade or investment for which different TCA provisions provide. The article also highlights certain areas which require further attention, including the fact that the current UK subsidy control regime is not concerned with the potentially competition distortive effects of a subsidy on the UK internal market. Separately, the article considers the question of whether the absence of a prior notification requirement has an impact on the effectiveness of the UK subsidy control system.
Keywords: subsidy control; UK; TCA; level playing field; trade; Brexit

Dr Totis Kotsonis, Partner, Head of Subsidies, Procurement, Trade Agreements and Trade Remedies, Pinsent Masons LLP. For correspondence: <>.


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