Brexit LIVE: Trade superwoman Liz Truss hit with sensational legal challenge – helping US


    This week, the court decided a judicial review could be brought forward over the UK’s independent trade policy for imports. British sugar has triggered the surprise broadside against Ms Truss, arguing the UK was unfairly subsidising a rival. They claim the decision to allow 260,000 tonnes of raw sugar imports to enter the UK without tariffs over 12 months amounted to a state subsidy to a rival company. 

    As British Sugar is the main refiner in the UK, they claimed US-owned Tate & Lyle Sugars had been given an unfair advantage, thus impinging on the UK’s new state aid regime. 

    Lawyers representing British Sugar also warned the move by the Department for International Trade could undercut EU exporters. 

    If so, this could amount to a violation of the level playing field regulations within the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. 

    Alexander Rose, an EU competition expert, told the Financial Times: “This case will be followed intently not only by lawyers, but ministers and public bodies as well as businesses looking for support or to make use of tax or tariff exemptions.

    “As the judge notes the case is by no means clear-cut, but in any event it will provide some clarification on an area of law which for seven months has proceeded without any case law.”

    While some from the British company claimed their US rival would benefit from at least £12million this year, Tate & Lyle Sugars claimed no wrongdoing. 

    Gerald Mason, senior vice-president of Tate & Lyle Sugars, said: “British Sugar using this argument to keep us constrained while they are deregulated is pure opportunism.”

    This comes as the UK will unveil the Subsidy Control Bill as the Government begins to replace the EU’s state aid controls. 


    7.09am update: Liz Truss facing a legal challenge 

    Liz Truss is facing a legal challenge over her decision to allow 260,000 tones of raw cane sugar into the UK without tariffs. 

    British Sugar brought this case to the High Court this week who agreed a judicial review should be undertaken. 

    The company argues the allowance of raw cane sugar on a tariff-free basis effectively provides US-owned Tate & Lyle Sugars with an advantage. 

    With the UK setting out its new state aid regime, the British company claims their US rival has been given a subsidy due to the lack of tariffs on their imports. 

    While the Department for Trade refused to comment on the case, this could violate certain elements of the Trade and Cooperation agreement in relation to state aid. 


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