Brexit – Don’t Panic
Brexit came as a shock to many business people, myself included, with the uncertainty surrounding both the process of exiting the EU and the British economy in the meantime dominating many people’s thoughts.
Many British companies are now no doubt evaluating the likely impact of the decision on their business, whether it be trade with EU-base customers, procurement from EU-based suppliers, or industry specific nuances that may be affected. But how will leaving the EU affect procurement legislation within the UK once Article 50 has finally been invoked and the 2-year period expires?
The first thing to mention is that nothing will happen for some time yet, and so companies that have spent years coming to terms with OJEU processes and tendering methodologies need not worry in the short term.
The UK has, over the years of our membership of the EU, taken a leading role in development of the European procurement directives that have guided our own UK legislation. For this reason, it is unlikely that, after Brexit, we will experience much change anyway, given that we have agreed to and indeed proposed much of the content ourselves. Whilst there may be some changes to contracting thresholds, minimum turnover requirements, evaluation methods and the like, these are unlikely to be earth shattering in size.
Current contracts procured via the current Public Contracts Regulations 2015 will not cease to exist once any new legislation is eventually enacted, since the contracts are held between the purchasing authority and the provider. This includes contracts for goods and services with central government bodies such as the MoD and Crown Commercial Services. So long term arrangements in place now will remain so following Brexit (assuming they don’t expire by the time this happens of course!) and extension periods can still be granted based on current contractual agreements. This last point is an important one, as it could bring extra reward in the form of certainty for the provision of service excellence.
Overall the message is one of ‘Don’t panic!’ and carry doing what you’re doing. Even when (and if) change does come within the UK public procurement landscape, it won’t be huge, and it certainly won’t be for some time yet.
If you’re unsure about where your business stands with regards to bids or current contracts, give us a call now on 0151 601 6263