“There will be no ambitious partnership without common ground in fair competition, state aid, tax dumping, food safety, our environmental and financial stability…”
Of course, blocking state aid is precisely the measure that would be used to hobble the Labour Party’s ambitious industrial strategy, including state ownership. That is why Jeremy Corbyn argued in his Coventry speech in February that
“… we would also seek to negotiate protections, clarifications or exemptions where necessary in relation to privatisation and public service competition directives state aid and procurement rules and the posted workers directive.”
It is this aspect of Labour’s policy platform that most disturbs the EU. In May, The Times carried a report that ‘Senior European officials‘ have told The Times that concerns over Labour’s economic policies are the main reason for the EU’s insistence on a tough “level playing field mechanism”.
That ‘tough level playing field’ is precisely what May is now offering Brussels in the White Paper.
Clause 1.6.1 of the white paper states:
“The government has made clear that it is committed to continuing the control of anti-competitive subsidies by creating a UK-wide subsidy control framework…The Government will continue working the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive, when in place, to ensure the new framework for state aid works for the whole of the UK.”
This will be embedded in the proposed common rule book supervised by the Competition and Markets Authority with a role for the ECJ.
For this reason alone, the left across the UK must campaign fiercely against the proposed deal. If the Tories are successful in giving their deal the force of a treaty, then an incoming Labour government would find itself locked into an agreement designed to prevent the implementation of their radical manifesto.”