Responding to the Conservative Party’s state aid proposals, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
“While we need more clarity around the detail, the proposals outlined do not fit easily with ambitions for a 'Global Britain'. Indeed they suggest a retreat away from free and open markets, with clear implications for a comprehensive new trade relationship with the EU. This is not the kind of divergence we should be seeking in the first instance. It seems like a bad solution in search of the wrong problem.
“Even aside from the trading implications of these policies, there are concerns for the very small and medium sized businesses they claim to be prioritising. Propping up failing enterprises and obliging public bodies to ‘buy British’ could end up unfairly protecting and subsidising large incumbents at the expense of true competition and new entrants to the market. Locality simply cannot be the main determinant here, as there are rightly multiple criteria to ensure wider value for money.”