Guidance

Public-sector procurement under the EU Withdrawal Agreement

Information for public authorities, businesses and other organisations on the outcome for public procurement policy in an EU exit deal scenario.

  • Delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the Government’s top priority.

  • This notice sets out more information for public authorities, businesses and other organisations on the outcome for public procurement policy in an EU exit deal scenario.

Public procurement - the current framework

A package of three public procurement directives set out the EU legal-framework for procurement by public authorities and utilities:

  • The Public Contracts Directive 2014
  • The Concessions Contracts Directive 2014
  • The Utilities Directive 2014

These Directives govern procedures for the award of public contract to a supplier (a provider of works, supplies or services) when its value exceeds set financial thresholds, unless it qualifies for a specific exclusion. They require procurements to be competed transparently and fairly.

The Public Procurement Directives were implemented for England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the following regulations:

The directives were implemented separately by the Scottish Government. In Scotland, the following regulations apply:

Defence and security procurement is dealt with separately in the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011, which apply to the whole of the UK.

During the implementation period

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the public procurement regulations will remain broadly unchanged during the implementation period (except in circumstances where there are reforms to the EU regime). The implementation period will run from 11pm on 29th March 2019 to 31st December 2020.

The existing scheme of UK procurement rules, which implement the EU public procurement directives, will be preserved under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 when the UK leaves the European Union.

The processes for new procurement procedures during the implementation period will not change. For any procurement procedures ongoing at the end of the implementation period the existing regulatory regime will continue up to award.

The draft Withdrawal Agreement can be accessed here as well as the subsequent Joint Statement that can be found here.

Published 14 January 2019