The Government has just published an extensive No-Deal Readiness report that happens to mention public procurement in two instances:
Procurement: Leaving the EU presents an opportunity to design a radically new regulatory framework for public procurement which better meets UK needs, drives improved commercial outcomes, delivers greater simplification and flexibility, reduces burdens on the public sector and business, and is more transparent.
The Government has already secured agreements with countries covering 72% of the trade (by value) for which we are seeking continuity if we leave without a deal. We have also secured an agreement to join the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement as a party in our own right ensuring continuity of access for UK business to £1.3 trillion of global public procurement opportunities.
Can you spot the contradiction in terms? You cannot really design a radically new regulatory framework for public procurement and at the same time meet the GPA commitments. You pick either one, or the other, and pin your colours to that mast. Taking into consideration Andrea Leadsom’s recent comments on tilting the playing field of UK procurement in favour of British undertakings does not make it any easier as it torpedoes the GPA commitments head on.