The effect of Brexit on UK competition law
The effect of Brexit on UK competition law

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The effect of Brexit on UK competition law
  • Background
  • Overview—the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
  • UK competition law—key changes from IP completion day
  • UK antitrust and merger control—post-IP completion day checklists
  • Antitrust investigations
  • UK State aid
  • Lexis PSL Competition content after IP completion day

The effect of Brexit on UK competition law

This Practice Note considers what UK competition law will look like after the end of the Brexit transition period (IP completion day), as well as the likelihood of whether the UK’s regime will diverge from the EU’s approach to competition law in the future.

Background

On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum on its membership of the EU, with a majority voting in favour of the UK leaving the EU ('Brexit'). This was a momentous decision with wide-ranging implications for UK law, including in relation to competition law and State aid.

On 31 January 2020, the UK ceased to be an EU Member State (‘Exit Day’). However, in accordance with the transitional arrangements provided in the revised Withdrawal Agreement, Exit Day marked the commencement of a transition/implementation period during which the UK continued to be treated by the EU as a Member State for many purposes.

For full details of the key moments in the Brexit saga, see further: Brexit timeline

Overview—the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

On 31 December 2020, the Brexit transition/implementation period ended, marking ‘IP completion day’—a significant moment for UK law. Although the UK ceased to be an EU Member State on 31 January 2020 (as above), in terms of the legal impact, IP completion day marked the date that the majority of key domestic legal changes

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