The UK left the EU at 11pm on Friday 31 January. What does this mean in practice for those of us who work with, follow or advise on the public procurement rules?

The simple answer is that it is pretty much business as usual, at least for the transition period to 31 December 2020. This includes continuing to advertise above EU threshold contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

The UK and the EU have signed the Withdrawal Agreement, which provides a short breathing space at the end of which there should be some clarity on what lies ahead for our public procurement rules. The outcome will be closely linked to the progress made on the UK’s trade deals, and the trade deal with the EU in particular.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the general principles of EU law applicable to the award of public contracts and the procurement directives will apply for the transition period. The Public Contracts Regulations 2015, which transposed the public sector directive and remedies directive into domestic law, remain in force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland[1]. This is also the case for the other procurement regulations concerning concessions, utilities. The Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 will continue to apply UK wide.

The Cabinet Office has updated its note on post-Brexit public procurement “Information for public authorities. Businesses and other organisations on the outcomes for public procurement policy from 31 January 2020”.



[1] Scotland its own procurement legislation.

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