It is not clear that the UK government appreciated the full significance of the state aid provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol when the agreement was concluded last autumn. The UK will be required to comply with EU state aid rules where any UK measure potentially affects trade between Northern Ireland and
the EU – catching many UK-wide tax measures in consequence. bThe Protocol also preserves a substantial enforcement role for the Commission and the CJEU. Looking ahead, the requirement to follow these rules will complicate any attempts by the UK to set up an independent WTO-style anti-subsidy regime in future.