Balancing EU regulatory convergence with procurement opportunities post-Brexit

A new study from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has found that Brexit is…...

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A new study from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has found that Brexit is presenting new procurement and regulatory opportunities in certain sectors that are likely to benefit the wider British economy and consumers alike.

The study, Smooth Operations, was conducted over six months and sampled the views of thousands of British businesses and trade associations. It found that altering the rules in one sector may impact supply chains and companies in other sectors, and that while new opportunities were emerging through Brexit for innovation and divergence, the costs of deviating from rules ensuring easy access to the EU outweighed them.

For example, the study shows that the construction sector has specific regulatory requirements, primarily on convergence for construction materials and products, which will remain crucial post-Brexit in order to avoid significant trade tariffs and to safeguard manufacturer competitiveness.

However, while CBI maintains that keeping procurement rules between the EU and UK equal continues to be important, there are also new opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of British procurement procedures without diverging from EU rules. For the construction industry, for example, convergence in areas such as materials will remain crucial but there will also be new opportunities to improve construction procurement and achieve cost reduction in the UK as well.

Responding to the study, the CEO of the Federation of Master Builders Brian Berry said that the UK needed to transition through the Brexit process as rapidly as possible, emphasising that ongoing construction alignment will be critical for the stability of the manufacturing industry and for continuity in health and safety regulation.

CBI’s Managing Director of Infrastructure and People Neil Carberry said that the report delivers valuable experience-based evidence about construction regulation and facilitates sound decision-making that will protect jobs, investments and standards of living across the country.

The construction industry, he added, is the UK’s second largest employer and literally provides the foundation for all other sectors. The EU will remain important to its success.

Ed Cross

Ed founded Odesma in 2014 with the explicit intent of creating a new kind of procurement consultancy founded entirely on cloud principles. Deploying best-of-breed subject matter experts alongside the best on demand technology to deliver rapid and effective change for customers.

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