What does BREXIT mean for public procurement in Northern Ireland – well, in essence, not much… for now at least. There will be no changes until the UK and NI Administration negotiate an exit arrangement with the EU – in other words, the current EU procurement rules will apply for at least two years. If the UK/NI opt for an agreement modelled on what Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have with the EU, then the current EU Directives will continue to apply in relation to all contracts over the EU thresholds. Therefore it is probable that all high value contracts in NI will continue to be advertised EU-wide in a Brexit scenario. The NI Administration will have flexibility to manage tender competitions locally and under their own procedures for sub-threshold contracts. As the current arrangements work well there is arguably a case for continuity. In summary, it is our assessment that Brexit is not going to change the procurement environment in NI. It is one of the few areas where a status quo can be anticipated.
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