Lord Frost on £300bn Brexit win you probably never noticed | Politics | News


Brexiteer Lord David Frost has highlighted a Brexit win that aims to get better value for money from the £300billion the Government spends on goods and services every year.

He believes over the years, “all sorts of things have gone badly wrong” in procurement because of the EU’s procurement “regime”.

The former Brexit minister pointed to Robert Colvile’s opinion piece in The Sunday Times, which explains how EU rules affected supplier choices. He said: “Partly because of EU rules, Government procurement policies banned departments from telling one another about their experiences with a given supplier or system, lest it should prejudice future buying decisions or disadvantage new suppliers.”

Post-Brexit, Lord Frost said Britain wanted “out” of the EU’s “absurdly restrictive and complex” rules.

He said: “One of the little commented-upon aspects of the 2020 TCA negotiations was procurement. We knew we wanted out of the EU’s absurdly restrictive and complex rules. The EU did not want to let us go, for all the usual reasons. This was quite a battle and we eventually agreed some articles in the TCA that were entirely optical, allowing us to proceed at a national level.”

The Procurement Act, passed last year aims to make it easier for past performances to be considered when contracts are issued.

The four main roles of procurement are sourcing, negotiation, contract management and supplier relationship management. These activities require a strong understanding of market trends, organizational objectives, and supplier capabilities to ensure success.

The Government states the new Procurement Act will “benefit suppliers of all sizes, particularly start-ups, scale-ups and small businesses.”

It hopes to create a central digital platform for suppliers to register and store details so that they can be used for multiple bids, and see all opportunities in one place. Simplified bidding processes will make it easier to bid, negotiate and work in partnership with the public sector.

The Procurement Act hopes to “level the playing field” for smaller businesses to compete, to hopefully drive innovation and better outcomes. The Government expects the regime to go live in October 2024.

Writing on X, Lord Frost said this was an “excellent first step”, but added there was no reason why more legislation couldn’t follow.

He added: “It is a post-Brexit reform that has slipped under the political radar because of its rather technical nature, but it’s an important first stage in getting better value for the £300billion+ Government spends every year.”


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