House of Lords launches inquiry into post-Brexit competition policy

Out-Law News | 25 Jul 2017 | 3:10 pm |

The House of Lords' EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has launched an inquiry into the implications of Brexit on UK competition policy.

The inquiry (4 page / 244KB PDF) will look at issues arising from the negotiations over the UK's withdrawal from the European Union (EU), including opportunities and challenges in re-shaping UK competition policy post-Brexit.

It will also examine the potential implications of Brexit for the application and enforcement of competition law in the UK; whether UK authorities have the capacity and resources to cope with additional responsibilities and a greater caseload; and the potential state aid obligations in any UK-EU free trade agreement.

Other questions asked include whether a post-Brexit competition cooperation agreement would be in the mutual interest of the EU and UK and what provisions would be required for such an agreement to be effective.

The inquiry will also look at state aid issues, asking if the UK will need a state aid authority after Brexit and what the opportunities and challenges would be for state aid and subsidy controls if the UK failed to reach a trade agreement with the EU.

Competition law expert Caroline Ramsay of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, last year said state aid restrictions would continue to apply regardless of whichever trading model the UK negotiates with the EU.

The sub-committee will hear evidence between September and November and aims to publish its report in early 2018. It is seeking written submissions to the inquiry until 15 September.