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Published 4 March 2019
With the planned date of Brexit less than a month away but no clear picture of how the UK will exit the EU, we look at the likely consequences for public procurement in the UK under both a ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenario. We set out below the latest position which (of course!) may be subject to further change.
Before we look at the two different scenarios, it is important to understand the current position. The Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and the Utilities Contract Regulations 2016 (the “Procurement Regulations”) are all UK enacted legislation. They are derived from EU Directives but are not EU law.
As things currently stand, if we leave the EU with a deal, the Procurement Regulations will remain in place during the “implementation period” (also known as the transition period). This is set to last from Exit Day (11pm on 29 March 2019) until 31 December 2020.
What is this likely to mean in practice?
As the Procurement Regulations are UK law, if we leave the EU without a deal we won’t automatically be released from them and they will, subject to the below, continue in force in the same way as other UK legislation.
However, in the event of a no deal, the Procurement Regulations are due to be amended by The Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - as further amended by supplementary regulations (the “Exit Regulations”). The Exit Regulations currently exist in draft form only, but if they are finalised for use in time, they should be expected to come into force on Exit Day . The Exit Regulations will amend very little of the existing Procurement Regulations. The main changes relate to the removal of EU related terms and references.
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