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New research reveals scale of public sector Brexit concerns

With the European Union having confirmed a delay to the UK’s departure from the EU, 31 October no longer marks ‘exit day.’ The so-called ‘flextension’ defers Brexit until the end of January, unless a deal is ratified before then. With the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement accepted in principle by Parliament, and an upcoming UK general election, the coming months will prove to be another crucial period in shaping precisely what form Brexit takes, and on what date the UK is no longer an EU member.

Against this backdrop, we are excited to reveal the results of our latest research survey, ‘Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities for Public Sector Buyers.’ This research project surveyed procurement leaders from throughout the public sector – from local and central government and the NHS to higher education and housing associations – for their predictions, concerns and aspirations around what effects Brexit will have on UK public procurement.

Ahead of our full key findings report, to be released soon, some of the survey’s headline statistics are below:

  • 58% of respondents feel that a ‘no-deal Brexit’ will have a worse effect on their procurement strategies than Brexit under the terms of a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement – with over half of this 58% suggesting the effect will be “significantly worse.” However, 31% of respondents believe that in terms of procurement, there will be no difference between a Brexit with or without a negotiated deal.

  • 45% of organisations say they still have no defined Brexit strategy in terms of supply chain management, with 61% of all respondents not currently having a strategy for a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

  • The most significant effect of Brexit for the public sector is believed to be the ability to control costs, with 66% of participants in our survey suggesting there will be either a high or medium impact in this area.

  • 61% of respondents are concerned about post-Brexit supply chain disruption affecting the delivery and quality of services.

  • A full 40% of respondents believe that Brexit will have little or no impact on their ability to engage with suppliers based outside the UK, and only 25% of buyers say they are concerned about their ability to engage with EU-based suppliers in future.

Our full survey report, detailing further findings and respondents’ profiles, will be available soon.

Visit www.bipsolutions.com/brexit to read all the latest updates, resources and guidance for what Brexit means for procurement. As the situation develops, BiP Solutions will continue to monitor the latest intelligence to provide you with the most up-to-date knowledge and guidance on the implications of Brexit on procurement, up to and beyond ‘exit day.’

Brexit Update: September 2019

Brexit has dominated the news over the past three years, and this shows no signs of abating.

The current deadline for the UK to exit the European Union (EU) is 31 October, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been categorical in his position that the UK will leave the European Union on this date – either with or without a deal.

Our latest Brexit report describes the key areas where future business opportunities will lie – should Brexit go through on 31 October.

Download your copy of this free report here.

New guidance document: Procurement after ‘no deal’

Figurines of construction workers move star on EU flag

As the political and legal situation around Brexit remains dynamic, the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement – a ‘no-deal Brexit’ – still exists. Until an alternative is legally formalised by both the UK and the remaining EU Member States, the current default position is for the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

Many businesses will have questions around the possible implications of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ and how they can prepare for this eventuality. Therefore, drawing on our 35 years of procurement experience, BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the publication of our new factsheet, ‘Procurement after “no deal”: What buyers and suppliers need to know about preparing for a “no deal Brexit” scenario.’

The seven-page document sets out clearly and simply the key questions that both buyers and suppliers are likely to have around the possibility of ‘no deal’ – and the current guidance that exists in these areas. The factsheet answers such questions as:

  • Where will public sector organisations publish tender notices if there is a ‘no deal Brexit’?
  • How might the procurement process change, and what will the effect be for supply chains?
  • Where will suppliers be able to find tender opportunities?
  • What steps will businesses need to take to continue to supply services to EU Member States?

Download your copy of the factsheet here.*

To view the latest procurement news and updates, visit BiP Solutions’ dedicated news and Brexit pages.

*Updates will follow to reflect the changing situation.

Business Growth in a Post-Brexit world

Many businesses may feel it is difficult to prepare for the coming months without knowing what will change on or after 29th March. Although the date the United Kingdom was scheduled to leave the European Union is fast approaching, it may seem that there is still relatively little certainty as to what Brexit means – either politically, or for business.

However, there are many areas of opportunity available to businesses regardless of the outcome of the coming weeks’ political decisions. Drawing on our 35 years of experience in public procurement, BiP Solutions have produced a new guidance document, ‘Opportunities and Trends for Business Growth in a Post-Brexit World.’ Drawing on recent announcements from the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, current guidance about the various possible outcomes for Brexit, and our expert knowledge of industry trends, the seven-page guidance document covers key areas that are set to provide multiple opportunities, both in the UK and across the world, over the months ahead.

Grahame Steed, Business Intelligence and e-Sourcing Director at BiP Solutions, said:

While the UK’s exit from the EU is creating a degree of uncertainty for businesses, the growth potential provided by the public sector at home and internationally remains vast. Now is the time to focus on identifying the right opportunities within this multi-billion pound sector, and engaging with the right organisations to ensure they are aware of what businesses can do to solve their challenges.

Read and download the latest guidance on upcoming trends and opportunities by clicking here.

To learn more about how BiP Solutions can help your business access opportunities in a range of sectors, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

Brexit: What happens now for procurement?

Man looking at crossroads with UK flag colours

[Updated: 14/03/2019]

Although the outcome of two major parliamentary votes on Brexit is now clear, very little has actually changed legally – for now. A lot remains to be decided over the coming days and weeks, and various Brexit scenarios remain possible. Here we briefly outline the possibilities and what they might mean for UK procurement.

For more detail on the implications of the different possible outcomes, download our five-page factsheet, ‘Procurement After Brexit.’

What has happened and what is next?

This week Parliament has voted to reject both the withdrawal deal that Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU, and the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal. There will now be a further vote (on 14th March) as to whether to request an extension to Article 50 and delay the date the UK leaves the European Union. A third vote on the previously-negotiated deal is now scheduled “before or on” 20th March.

Even though parliament has voted to reject a ‘no-deal Brexit’, the UK could still leave the EU without a deal if the ‘EU27’ countries do not agree to extend the Article 50 negotiation period.  Moreover, the scope and effect of any proposed extension remains to be seen. The current legal default position is for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on 29th March.

What if the UK does not leave on 29th March?

It’s worth reiterating that, until the UK formally leaves the EU, it is a full member of the EU. This means that, if there is an extension to Article 50, there will be little legislative difference from the current situation – pending any changes in UK or EU law in the interim.

When the UK does leave the EU, current guidance is that procurement rules as they stand now will be written into UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Under current guidance, any procurement procedures that are ongoing when the extension period ends will continue under the same regulations as now until an award is made.

However, the possibility of ‘no deal’ remains real in spite of the recent parliamentary vote, which has no legislative force.

What if there is a ‘no-deal Brexit’?

The Government has repeatedly assured that most regulations around procurement will remain the same regardless of the outcome of Brexit, as the majority of the relevant EU regulations are already written into UK and Scottish law.

It was also announced recently that the UK would be able to join the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) as an independent member if there is no deal, meaning that UK businesses will be able to continue to bid for contracts in the GPA’s member countries and blocs.

However, in other ways a ‘no-deal Brexit’ would represent major change for UK procurement. UK companies wishing to continue to work with the EU will need to apply for an EORI number. Given the possibility of ‘no deal’ – and that the Government advises that applying for an EORI number takes “around 10 minutes” – companies may want to consider the importance of applying for an EORI number even if it is ‘just in case.’

There is also the possibility that if there is a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, UK organisations will no longer be able to access OJEU. To learn more about the full implications of this, how companies can reduce the amount of action they will need to take, and an in-depth examination of the consequences of different possible Brexit scenarios, download our factsheet, ‘Procurement After Brexit: Deal or No Deal.’

A ‘no deal’ exit is now more likely than before, and the situation remains subject to much change over the next week. For the latest news, its specific consequences for procurement, and Government guidance documents, visit our dedicated Brexit page.

To learn more about how BiP Solutions can help with your contract and tendering needs, visit www.bipsolutions.com or call (+44) 0141 332 8247.

EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business

EU Referendum

Rely on facts not feelings

Are you ready to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June? The latest YouGov poll showed significant support for both sides with 13% of people still undecided.

Professionals across the country are wondering what the vote will mean for their businesses, jobs and bank balances and there is no shortage of opinions in the newspapers and on TV.

Unfortunately, these tend to be biased towards one side or another which is why the UK’s leading procurement service provider, BiP Solutions, is launching its free White Paper, EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business.

The White Paper examines the referendum and its potential implications for UK exports, trade arrangements, business finance, procurement legislation and jobs – all of which will affect the country’s livelihood.

Here’s a sneak peek at the first two chapters of EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business – covering Exports and Trade Agreements.

At the forefront of the referendum debate is the issue of exports. Brexit leaders argue that the EU membership fees paid by the UK outweigh the UK gains from exports to the European Economic Area (EEA). However, HM Treasury’s latest European Union Finances statistics appear to contradict this argument.

These figures show that in 2015 EU membership cost the UK £8.4bn (net sum). This cost though was outweighed by the value of UK exports to the EEA in 2015, which reached £133.9bn (HMRC UK Overseas Trade Statistics December 2015).

This trend is, however, not reflective of the wider UK export picture; as the latest (February 2016) Office of National Statistics UK Trade Statistical Bulletin shows, between November 2015 and February 2016, UK exports to non-EEA countries totalled more than those to EEA countries (£36bn compared to £33bn).

This highlights the opportunity for greater UK trade beyond the European Union, and shows the appeal of a Brexit in which the UK could form autonomous international trade partnerships, without having to negotiate with other EU members.

Another pro-Brexit argument is that, should it leave the EU, the UK could re-negotiate a deal that allowed it to trade with the EEA without having to adhere to the EU Public Contracts Regulations, which are said to cost UK businesses £33.3bn annually to implement.

However, pro-EU campaigners highlight current European law stipulates that to benefit from European Single Market trade rates countries must adhere to EU regulations.

This means that should the UK cease to do so, it would have to pay more to trade with EEA countries. Establishment of alternative trade partnerships is a challenge that could create economic instability; however, it could also create the opportunity to forge new markets and procurement practices.

Read more about the economic implications of the EU referendum, with EU Referendum: The Ins and Outs for Business.

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