On the absence of procurement in the UK Government negotiating guidelines

The UK Government published last week the guidelines for its negotiations with the EU regarding a future trade deal. Absent from inclusion in the document is public procurement, which can give us an indication of what is the Government objective for the area.

Using the idea of ´regulatory divergence´ by the UK as a starting point for the whole negotiation and adopting it as a lens to look at the absence of procurement from the UK´s negotiating guidelines, what it seems to me is that this is an area the Government is really willing to move away from the EU.

If it makes sense or not, it is not the point at this stage as I would guess the Government will simply fall back into the (already negotiated) GPA accession, which it probably considers as providing enough access to the EU market and at the same time scope for regulatory divergence. As for the latter, my views remain the same that I (and Albert Sanchez-Graells) expressed in 2017, that is, the scope for divergence from the past is smaller than some anticipate.