The UK government has said it will ensure it remains part of the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) following Brexit.
In reports covering the future of trade and customs arrangements the government said it wanted firms to retain “non discriminatory access to a public procurement market estimated to be worth over £1.3tn annually”.
“We will take specific steps to ensure the UK remains part of the GPA when we leave the EU,” said the report.
“Where we have chosen to open the UK’s public procurement market to international competition, the UK also benefits from increased choice and value for money.”
The report said Parliamentary approval for ratifying the UK’s independent membership of the GPA would be sought.
The government also said it “wants to secure the freest trade possible in goods and services between the UK and the EU”. UK imports and exports to the EU totalled £553bn in 2016, accounting for the largest single proportion of UK trade.
“After we exit the EU we want to maximise our trade opportunities globally, both by boosting our trading relationships with old friends and new allies, while at the same time having the greatest possible tariff and barrier-free trade with the EU,” said the report.
The government said new customs legislation would “as far as possible, replicate the effect of existing customs laws” and it would contain provisions for the implementation of customs, VAT and excise regimes “in the event that no deal is reached” with the EU.
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