U.K. Seeks Views on New Post-Brexit Subsidies System

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The U.K. is launching a consultation on its post-Brexit subsidies system, which the government has hailed as a “significant milestone” in the country’s future outside the European Union.

The new U.K.-wide “subsidy control system” will replace the E.U.’s state aid regime, which was a major stumbling block in Brexit talks last year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government believes the system will allow the U.K. to be “more dynamic” in providing financial aid to businesses, and better support start-ups, small firms and new industries.

The U.K.’s business department will seek views from companies and public authorities on the responsibilities of the independent body that will oversee subsidies, including whether it should have powers in enforcing the rules.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement: “This is a significant milestone on our historic journey as an independent, sovereign nation.

“Our new, more flexible system will empower public authorities and devolved administrations, and ensure fair competition for businesses across the U.K.”

The new system will ensure the U.K. honors its international obligations under World Trade Organization rules, the U.K.-E.U. Trade and Cooperation Agreement and other free trade agreements, a business department spokesman said, and will not be about “bailing out unsustainable companies”.

The consultation will run for a minimum of eight weeks.

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