Brexit: competition and State aid Contents

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Whitty, has decided to launch an inquiry into the impact of Brexit on UK competition policy. The inquiry will explore the opportunities and challenges of leaving the EU for antitrust rules, merger control and State aid, as well as considering the potential future relationship between UK and EU competition authorities.


Through its enforcement of competition rules, the European Commission aims to ensure consumers are provided with more choice, better quality and lower prices. The EU has exclusive competence over establishing the competition rules necessary for the functioning of the internal market and these rules apply directly to Member States. The Commission enforces EU competition rules together with the national competition authorities of the EU countries, with cooperation facilitated by the European Competition Network.

The UK’s competition regime is underpinned by domestic statutes modelled on EU law, and includes provisions to ensure consistent interpretation with European legislation. This close interconnection between EU and domestic competition policy presents a number of opportunities and challenges for re-shaping the UK regime post-Brexit.

With regard to antitrust and mergers, existing domestic legislation will remain in force but UK competition authorities will need to assume aspects of enforcement previously undertaken by the European Commission. The UK will also need to consider whether it wishes to establish cooperation arrangements with the EU to facilitate future mutual assistance and information sharing with European competition authorities.

State aid, an exclusive area of EU law controlled solely by the European Commission, presents a different challenge. In this case, absent membership of the European Economic Area, the UK will need to establish an entirely new domestic framework.

The inquiry

The Internal Market Sub-Committee intends to contribute to public debate on the opportunities and challenges of leaving the EU for UK competition policy, and to inform and influence the UK Government’s consideration of these issues.

Public hearings will be held from September 2017 until November 2017. The Sub-Committee aims to publish its report, with recommendations, early in 2018. The report will receive a response from the Government and will be debated in the House.

The Committee seeks written evidence on the following questions from anyone with a relevant interest. You need not address all questions in your response, and respondents from a particular area or sector are invited to focus on the questions most pertinent to them. Submissions are sought by Friday 15 September 2017.




State aid

© Parliamentary copyright 2018