Brexit: Procurement update
There has been a boost to the UK’s post-Brexit planning as regards procurement.
To provide a summary of the Brexit story so far as it relates to procurement:
- The current UK rules on procurement will continue in their current form following Brexit, in line with the EU (Withdrawal) Act.
- This means that, in the UK, the current rules will continue to apply: contracting authorities will continue to have to publish notices in the Official Journal of the EU and provide equal treatment to EU and EEA bidders, as well no less favourable treatment to businesses that are from countries which are signatories to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. The GPA is a multilateral agreement, under the auspices of the WTO, in respect of which the UK is a member on the basis of its membership of the EU, which takes responsibility for international trade negotiations.
- At the same time, UK businesses would not benefit from equivalent procurement rules in the EU and GPA States as (a) the UK would no longer be a member of the EU; and (b) as a natural consequence would not be a party to the GPA.
Earlier this year, the UK notified the WTO Committee that it wished to adhere to the GPA, in order to benefit from these opportunities. On 27 November, the Committee approved, in principle, the UK’s request to take part in the GPA, in its own right, following its exit from the European Union. It is something of niche topic, but in these troubled times, you take the good news that you can get.