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Brexit and Public Procurement – no change for now

On 14 November 2018, the European Commission and UK negotiators reached an accord on the full scope of the Withdrawal Agreement and constructed an outline for the political declaration on the future of the relationship between the EU and the UK. 

The coverage of the draft treaty agreement presented to parliament has been extensive; most trade journals have already provided comprehensive coverage on the most salient details for each industry.

As DeNove specialises in public sector procurement, we decided to shed some light on the meaning of the recent draft treaty and how it will impact public sector procurement.

The section of the draft treaty that addresses public sector procurement can be found on page pages 132 – 136 of the draft treaty. It is not the most accessible of documents and so we have  provided a more succinct explanation of what to expect below.

First and foremost, there is to be a transition period, which will conclude on the 31st December 2020. This decision takes into account the UK’s initial request for a transition period of approximately two years. The dates also coincide with the end of the current long-term EU budget (the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020).

The Treaty and associated EU Withdrawal Agreement provides legal certainty on public procurement procedures. During the transition period, the current EU procurement regulations will prevail. This situation will then continue for any ‘in-flight’ procurements. Effectively, if a procurement has commenced (i.e. a contract notice has been issued) then it is our understanding that the procurement will continue to run in accordance with The Public Contracts Regulations (2015) and EU law. Put simply, procurements will continue to exist under the same procedural and substantive policies as the ones that were in effect at the time of their commencement.

We will write more about the likely situation post the transition period once the situation becomes clearer, but in the meantime if you have any questions regarding how this will impact your business then please feel free to give us a call.

For further information, please see our previous Brexit related articles here and here.