Brexit referendum
Procurement accounts for nearly 20% of the United Kingdom’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Following the decision to part ways with the EU, it’s a fair question to ask how the rules and regulations will change and how these changes might effect the UK economy. Prior to the UK joining the EU, the perception of buyers within public procurement was unwieldy and restrictive.

Since then, there have been significant changes in the way public procurement is carried out. With the aim of encouraging competition, increasing value for money and improving social benefit and innovation, the EU introduced less restrictive regulations.

The “National Innovation Plan” and other incentives were introduced by the powers that be in order to promote innovation based on suggestions given by the public. This process began to include public procurement and, as part of the EU, the UK was encouraged to make enhancements to its social welfare, to leverage innovation and to introduce more liberal regulations.

Brexit

In terms of Brexit, the question is whether the UK’s legislation will return to that of before its membership of the European Union, or will the UK attempt to put in place a similar regime to that of the EU? Certain members of the pro-Leave community are in favour of a simpler way to meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities, but these will remain a minority.

Judging by the aftermath of the referendum, making reforms to procurement legislation will almost certainly not be one of the government’s first priorities – in the short-run at least, the UK will most likely keep working with its current legislation to regulate purchasing.

Moving forward, it semms unlikely that regulations will change significantly. The UK will undoubtedly continue to maintain a relationship with the EU and will therefore still have to adapt to EU procurement legislation.

The government will also still have an interest in the sustainable development of procurement…which is only feasible by breaking down trade barriers, encouraging competition and promoting innovation.