Experts at the Centre for Competition Policy have analysed the effect of Brexit and concluded that:
- It will create new freedoms for the UK to shape its competition policy outside the EU,
- but these freedoms come at a cost and could prove damaging to competitive markets.
- In merger control, the UK will be free to intervene, for instance to protect jobs (‘public interest interventions’). Such interventions could be particularly targeted at foreigners attempts to buy UK companies. But these powers could be misused and create uncertainty.
- There will be pressure for greater protection of UK industries through state interventions, such as subsidies, but such freedom will constrain, and be constrained by, the UK’s new trade arrangements and could prove wasteful.
- The UK will be free to set its own path in many areas, for example by fully criminalising cartels,
- but cooperation with other EU competition agencies will dwindle.
- The resources of the Competition and Markets Authority may need to be doubled.
An abstract is here.
[Further information about the UK’s current competition policies may be found on the Understanding Regulation website.]