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OPINION: Brexit and Public Procurement
31 January 2020

Brexit and Public Procurement

By Sandra Atik


With Brexit set to happen this week, it is still unclear on how the procurement process for the NHS and other publicly funded entities will be affected.

Time will tell what the wider implications will be; planning and infrastructure to support public procurement, meaning there is a short-term system in place which covers procurements that occur and complete during the transition.

To the best of my knowledge (this should not be considered a legal review), the UK has legislation in place to support Brexit as an event, key to this being the Exit Regulations for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is the Public Procurement (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No. 560).

This outlines the changes that will be made to supersede the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, as well as for the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 and Concessions Contracts Regulations 2016 (which transpose the EU Utilities Directive 2014/25/EU and Concessions Directive 2014/23/EU) which all works in tandem with the  SI 2019 No. 718 the UK Withdrawal Act 2018.


What does this mean for procurement in the NHS?


The NHS Long Term Plan discusses easing procurement restrictions, implying that it would become less regulated regarding competitively tendering NHS services and requirements. This may be taken a stage further when Brexit happens; all NHS procurements could automatically become the equivalent of Light Touch or even taken outside of any competitive requirements completely.

In the short term, not much is expected to change; for example, NHS procurements that start and complete prior to withdrawal will continue to be bound to the requirements set by OJEU and enacted into UK by PCR2015.  For procurements which commence under OJEU but complete under the the Public Procurement Amendment 2019 (SI 2019 No. 560), award notification would be made on the UK e-notification service.

SI 2019 No.560 sets out the following at PART 2 AMENDMENT OF PRIMARY LEGISLATION:

2.The Greater London Authority Act 1999;

3.The Equality Act 2010;

4.The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012;

This captures and set outs what the changes mean in day-to-day terms of the NHS getting the job done and procurements awarded to support patients and the NHS infrastructure.


Further detail on the legislation is available here.


For information on Medicines and  Centrally Authorised Products (CAPs)  and Biosimilars et-al can be found here


Sandra Atik is the Head of Business Services: ICT, Property, FM and Corporate at the Hub.