UK internal market: initial assessment of UK Government proposals

Initial Scottish Government assessment of the threat to devolution, regulatory standards, businesses and jobs.

Subsidy control

The White Paper proposes to expressly reserve the control of subsidy regimes, leaving the devolved governments with the role of deciding payments in their areas under rules set by the UK Government and Westminster.   There is no reason for the UK Government to have exclusive competence over subsidy control, especially as decisions on subsidies are very particular to local circumstances and industrial concerns as has been seen in Scotland over recent years.  However as reported in the Financial Times this issue is clearly a source of tension within the UK Government quoting a person close to the discussions as saying:

“The current plan is an odd combination of reserving state aid [for control from London] but then agreeing to a free-for-all. They just want to be able to bung money at things and do not want UK internal market legislation cutting across that. It's very confused.”

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