Although the government is expecting “to negotiate a successful deal with the EU”, it has released guidance on how to access public sector contracts if there is no Brexit deal.
These guidelines have been created to help British citizens and businesses understand the possible implications of a no-deal Brexit and make any required plans and preparations.
The new document outlines how this will affect access to, and publishing of, public procurement contract opportunities for UK suppliers, contracting authorities and entities and E-Senders.
What happens if there is a ‘no deal’ outcome?
The government has been planning for all post Brexit scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.
In the case that the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place regarding future arrangements on access to OJEU/TED, the government has announced that “a replacement UK-specific e-notification service will be made available.”
This means that all UK contract opportunities that are currently published on OJEU/TED will be published on the new UK e-notification service which will be available from exit day. This service will be free for all users. Companies that wish to access contract notices from other EU countries will still be able to access OJEU/TED.
Testing is currently being carried out by OJEU E-Senders, which will ensure that all technical requirements are in place for a smooth transition to the new system, if required.
What will change?
The government has outlined the changes for UK both suppliers and contracting authorities and entities.
- If there is a no deal Brexit scenario contracting authorities and entities should publish contract notices on the new UK e-notification service rather than OJEU/TED.
- All other publication requirements for buyers would remain unchanged.
- Suppliers that would like to find above threshold opportunities from the UK public sector should subscribe to the new UK e-notification service.
Apart from OJEU access, not much is likely to change in procurement as the Public Procurement Regulations 2015 are already in UK law.
Until March 2019
Until March 2019, the UK remains an EU member and all procurement opportunities that fall within the scope of the EU Procurement Directives will still be advertised on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
If there is a Brexit deal it is still unclear what access the UK will have to the OJEU/TED. The government has announced that there will be more engagement on how to deal with ongoing procurement procedures in the handover period.
The full technical notice is available here.