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Relevant information for companies affected by Brexit

With Withdrawal Agreement

Without a Withdrawal Agreement

  • What will happen if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without an agreement being reached?
    • There will not be a transition period and, from that day on, the United Kingdom will become third country, without being able to benefit from the acquis communautaire.

  • What will happen to UK economic operators?
    • Generally speaking, economic operators in the United Kingdom will have the same status as all other economic operators based in a third country with which the EU has no agreement foreseeing the opening of the EU contracting market (until a possible agreement of the UK to adhere to the GPA within the WTO is in force).

      Nothwithstanding the above, those economic operators that when the UK’s exit of the EU takes place are participating in a public procurement procedure in Spain, if this procedure was launched before this date, these economic operators will be subject to the same rules as EU economic operators as long as, pursuant to the reciprocity principle, Spanish economic operators are treated in the same way.

  • What will happen to the Spanish economic operators when they attend tenders celebrated by UK contracting bodies?
    • They will have to adapt to the United Kingdom legislation.

  • What regulations will be applied to the public procurement procedures in Spain with a call for competition published after the United Kingdom’s date of withdrawal?
    • The rules applicable to third countries that maintain a commercial relationship with the European Union will be applied in European trade with the United Kingdom as of its date of withdrawal. Article 68 of Law 9/2017, of November 8th, of Public Sector Contracts regulates the relationship with Non-Community Companies is regulated in the field of Public Procurement. Natural or legal persons from States not belonging to the European Union or to States that are signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area must justify by a report that the State of origin of the foreign company admits the participation of Spanish companies in the contracting with the entities of the public sector. States belonging to the ACP within the WTO are exempt from presenting the reciprocity report in procedures referred to contracts that are subject to harmonised regulation, therefore the UK may benefit from this legal provision from the date where the adhesion agreement to the GPA, if any, enters into force).

  • Apart from the reciprocity report, is there any other requirement for United Kingdom companies that are awarded a public contract in the event of no agreement?
    • In the case of works contracts, the list of specific administrative clauses may require non-EU companies that are successful bidders to open a branch in Spain, with the designation of agents or representatives for their operations, and that are registered in the Commercial Registry.

  • The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union will mean that it will no longer be part of the WTO Plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). What effect will this have on access to the British public procurement market?
    • According to the information published in the WTO website the United Kingdom is currently negotiating within the WTO its adherence to the GPA in order to guarantee its access to the market of the EU-27 and of the countries that signed the agreement. This negotiation is necessary to also guarantee the access of the EU-27 to the British market. The United Kingdom has expressed its desire to maintain the commitments of the GPA.
      If the UK's adhesion date to the GPA matches the one in which the Brexit materializes, the EU-27 would no longer have full access to the UK public procurement market, but it would have limited access to that market, similar to the one that the UK offers to the other parts of the GPA.

      If the UK's accession to the GPA occurs after the Brexit materializes, during that period the EU-27 would have even more limited access to the British public procurement market, and vice versa. This does not mean that, de facto, both markets necessarily remain closed, but it would be necessary to adapt to the conditions established in the specifications of each tender to determine the accessibility to the market.

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