Q&As

What is the UK position under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement before and after Brexit?

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Produced in partnership with Eric White of Herbert Smith Freehills
Published on LexisPSL on 02/10/2019

The following Public Law Q&A produced in partnership with Eric White of Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the UK position under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement before and after Brexit?

What is the UK position under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement before and after Brexit?

The UK’s position under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement (WTO GPA), a plurilateral agreement providing access to government procurement markets on agreed terms in some 19 territories around the world, is one matter that has been successfully resolved prior to the UK leaving the EU.

The UK is currently bound by, and a beneficiary of, the WTO GPA by virtue of its membership of the EU. Government procurement is a matter of exclusive EU competence under EU law, and therefore, the UK was not required to, or able to, accede to the WTO GPA in its own right while a Member State of the EU.

On 5 June 2018, the UK submitted an application for accession in its own right to the WTO GPA. Essentially, it proposed to continue to be bound by the commitments that applied to it already in exchange for continued access to the markets of the other parties. Detailed technical discussions ensued on the precise wording of the commitments and the terms were finally agreed on 27 February 2019.

The WTO decision on the UK’s accession to the WTO GPA sets out these precise terms and specifies how they will enter into force. The

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