It is difficult to see procurement and tendering for public sector contracts being a key factor in people’s decision making around the EU Referendum. However, the Scotsman presents an interesting article that highlights that change in procurement practice and tendering would inevitably follow a Brexit.
In particular, the article raises the potential of a Swiss model with procurement into the EU proceeding on the basis of bilateral sectoral agreements; a significant change to the status quo. However, the key word here i
s potential and what is clear is that a Brexit, would change procurement practice for UK firms bidding into the EU and firms in the EU (including the Republic of Ireland) tendering into the UK; at least to some extent. Read the Procurement and the EU Referendum here.
In simple terms much public procurement in the UK and Ireland is driven on EU directives and the principles of an open market. While ease of navigation for firms is a significant challenge the questions arises as to what would replace the EU driven directive heavy procurement approaches in a UK outside of the EU? and what that would mean for individual firms from the UK and Ireland?
The EU Referendum is a matter for the UK electorate, but whatever the outcome it is critical that any transition does not hinder the ability of UK and Irish firms to continue to bid for contracts. Even a brief disruption could have far reaching implications for UK and Irish firms.