EU procurement rules often get bad press but they have not yet had a high profile in the UK referendum debate on membership. But they lie at the heart of the internal market and often have a big impact on public services.
Public expenditure on goods, works and services represents about 13% of the European Union’s gross domestic product, and tenders for higher value contracts valued at around €420bn were published EU-wide in OJEU in 2014.
Ever since the UK joined the then common market, public procurement regulations have been based on European law and regulation. Even if the UK were to vote to leave the EU it is almost certain that a condition of a favourable trade deal and access to the bloc’s Single Market would require the UK to continue to have public procurement legislation closely aligned with the wider EU regulations, including “state aid” rules.