The EU’s policy of state aid control has become a focal point of debate since the UK’s 2016 referendum.

Some proponents of leaving the EU have argued that, freed from the constraints of EU rules on state aid, the UK would have more flexibility to embark on an active industrial policy; opponents have countered that this overstates the stringency of the rules.

This short briefing seeks to assess these claims, exploring the role of state aid rules in the EU and how these might change under different Brexit scenarios.