In this rapidly evolving environment, one would be forgiven for having missed the government’s announcement last week that the UK has given formal confirmation to the EU that the Brexit transition period will not be extended beyond the end of 2020. This means the amended public procurement regulations will take effect at the start of January 2021.
The UK left the EU on 31 January this year, immediately entering what has become known as the ‘Brexit transition period’. The transition period is due to expire on 31 December, and any extension requires ratification on both sides of the Channel by 1 July. The government’s recent announcement means that existing ties between the UK and the EU will almost certainly be severed come 2021 with impacts on the UK’s public procurement regime, amongst other areas of UK life that until now have been closely intertwined with and influenced by European Union law and policy.
Given last week’s confirmation by the government, contracting authorities and bidders alike will need to understand the scope of the changes due to come into effect on 1 January 2021 and gear up. We reported on the changes here and here.
No more OJEU
Readers should take particular note that 1 January 2021 will see the introduction of a new UK only e-notification portal to access and respond to procurement notices (‘Find a Tender’), replacing the OJEU and TED for UK procurement. Logistical preparations can and should be carried out now.
Amended procurement regulations
Amended iterations of the current procurement Regulations will also come into force on 1 January 2021, although changes to the current Regulations have been kept to a minimum, just to ensure they continue to work following the UK’s departure from the EU.
No doubt further changes will be announced as the UK edges closer to the end of the transition period, particularly given the Prime Minister’s proposal for a ‘bonfire’ of procurement-related red tape. Our experts continue to monitor policy developments and are well-placed to advise on specific queries or issues in relation to the forthcoming changes.
This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published. If you would like further advice and assistance in relation to any of the issues raised in this article, please contact us today by telephone or email firstname.lastname@example.org.