Ashurst advises TLS in first UK judgment on interpretation of NI Protocol and TCA subsidies control

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    British Sugar challenged the ATQ on the basis that it: (i) amounts to a non-notified State aid, and is incompatible with the Northern Ireland Protocol; and (ii) is a subsidy in breach of the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).  TLS and the SoS contested the claim. 

    Yesterday's judgment from the UK High Court rules in favour of the TLS and SoS position that the ATQ is neither an unlawful State aid or subsidy and accordingly dismisses British Sugar's challenge.

    The case is significant because this is the first post-Brexit judicial review of a measure – in this case a tax measure - under the Northern Ireland Protocol and the UK subsidies control regime. The matter raised novel questions regarding, notably, the scope of application of (i) the Northern Ireland Protocol and the EU State aid rules to UK measures, as well as (ii) the subsidies control regime in the UK.

    The Ashurst team was led by partner Donald Slater, supported by head of international trade Ross Denton, senior associate Sophie Law, and associates Jessica Bracker and Aaron Marchant. Ashurst instructed Kieron Beal QC (Blackstone Chambers).