I simply would like to put on record it on Second Reading the fact that, as I made clear in a point of order earlier, consideration on Report will take place next week and a lot will happen between now and then. The UKIM Bill at the moment has the “notwithstanding” provisions in it; they have not yet been taken out. We do not yet know what will transpire this evening or at any point between now and the Report stage of this Bill next week. Therefore, I have given instructions for the tabling of amendments to reinsert the “notwithstanding” provisions for the purposes of this Bill, which would have appeared but for the fact that the decision had already been made yesterday, before a statement was made to the House of Commons. That was dealt with today in principle, although not the question of what actually is going to be done. Therefore, for practical purposes, all I need say on Second Reading is that there are relevant provisions within the scope of this Bill, in clause 9, which is entitled “Recovery of unlawful state aid”.
Earlier this afternoon, I chaired, as I always do on Wednesdays, the European Scrutiny Committee. We have a 10 or 15-page paper on this question. The report, which will be signed off today and then published, covers reform of state aid rules and potential implications for the UK and includes a full description of what the state aid rules would mean; what the evaluation is at the moment by the European Commission; what it intends to do with respect to state aid in relation to enforcement proceedings; matters of sovereignty regarding the United Kingdom; the timetable for amendments to the EU state aid rule book; and the continued relevance of EU state aid law to the UK.
I am reading out some headline points, which also include infringement proceedings for state aid granted before
In conclusion, I intend to table these amendments to examine the question when we get to the Report stage next week.