State Aid: Brexit, Bailouts and Corporate Bonanzas
The EU’s state aid rules regulate how much money government can give to businesses and industry. Does Brexit give Britain the chance to take back control of its industrial policy?
When the steelworks at Redcar went bust in 2015 the government said it couldn’t bail out the company that ran the plant because of the EU’s state aid rules, which regulate how much money the government can give to businesses and industry. 1700 jobs were lost in the North East of England, which has the highest unemployment rate in the UK. Voices on the left and right say the state aid rules are holding Britain back from supporting its industry. Are they right? Does Brexit give Britain the chance to take back control of how it manages its industrial policy? Or do the state aid rules protect taxpayers from governments handing out large subsidies to big corporations? In this edition of Analysis, James Ball, global editor of the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, explores the EU’s state aid rules, how they affect our livelihoods, and what might happen if the UK decides to stop playing by the rules after Brexit.
Producer: Xavier Zapata
Editor: Jasper Corbett
Brian Dennis, former Labour Councillor
Mariana Mazzucato , Professor of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, author of the Entrepreneurial State and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
Usha Haley, the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in International Business at Wichita State University
Nicole Robins, head of the state aid unit at Oxera
Corri Hess , reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio
Kenneth Thomas, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at The University of Missouri, St Louis
George Peretz QC, Barrister at Monckton Chambers and co-chair of the UK State Aid Law Association
Nicholas Crafts, Professor of Economic Historian at Sussex University