Posted by admin on

Stability & Growth Pact

Do the EU treaties inhibit a Labour Government? Much of the debate focuses on industrial policy. Could a Labour Government nationalise an industry? (Yes!) Can it subsidise companies? (Not if this inhibits European companies from entering a market.) Could a Labour Government introduce a minimum wage? (Yes!).  A more interesting question is around Macro-economic policy. Here are my notes on the Stability & Growth Pact (SGP).
On industrial policy, the New Statesman, now behind a paywall, says,

An analysis of Labour’s 2017 manifesto found that all its policies would be permissible within EU state aid rules, although two of the proposals, a National Investment Bank and regional energy companies, would need to be structured carefully. We can also go further than the 2017 manifesto if we wish. For instance, we could support the growth of co-operatives through the tax system, take ourselves to the top of the league table on investment in skills, put workers on company boards, buy public stakes in private companies in a sovereign wealth fund, and build houses using public bodies – all within single market rules.

On Macro-economic policy, the Stability & Growth Pact commits its signatories to keeping to an annual public finance deficit of 3%  of GDP and a public debt to GDP ratio of 60%. This may impact a Labour Government as it did governments of all three colours from 2008 to 2017.

Some links

  2. Here’s Left Foot Forward  last year (2017)
  3. And here’s the Commission’s page.

I was curious as to whether the EU Withdrawal Bill would in fact remove the UK from this treaty.
The Stability & Growth Pact is in fact based on EU Council Regulations and so withdrawal from the EU will mean withdrawal from the Stability & Growth Pact. Wikipedia implies it is an independent treaty. The Stability & Growth Pact has preventative and corrective arms. The preventative arm is a monitoring control and the UK complies with this part of the regime. The preventative arm involves instructions from the Commission and eventually sanctions; the UK is not a party to this regulation. The EU cannot instruct the UK government on Macro-economic policy. The UK was in default of the agreement from 2008 to 2017.


I have mirrored the Tarrant & Biondi paper on this site.

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Brexit and Labour’s 2017 manifesto –
    […] Some Lexiters claim that the EU treaties will inhibit a Labour Government if it tried to implement its 2017 manifesto. It is argued that the single market would inhibit industrial policy and the stability and growth pact would inhibit macro-economic policy. I don’t think this is so and have written up my notes on my wiki. […]
  2. Brexit and Labour’s 2017 Manifesto II –
    […] my article “Brexit and Labour’s 2017 manifesto“, and on my wiki article, “Stability & Growth Pact”, I talk about the reasons supporters of Labour’s 2017 manifesto might believe that they need […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.