The government will replace European Union public procurement portals with a domestic service should the UK fail to negotiate a Brexit deal.
A domestic e-notification system will replace current EU systems, the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), according to documents released by the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).
The papers, which serve as a follow up to August’s first batch of no-deal guidance, state that all contract opportunities that would currently be published on OJEU/TED would be published on the new free UK service.
The system would be available from exit day on 29 March, and contracting authorities and entities “would need to ensure their contract notices are published on the UK e-notification service rather than OJEU/TED”.
Meanwhile, suppliers could continue to access contract opportunities from the EU on the OJEU/TED systems, but for contracts from the UK public sector they would need to access the new UK-specific service.
Shipping companies would need to give PAN (pre-arrival notification) information before entering an EU port under a no deal Brexit, another paper said.
But this would not apply to EU companies sending ships to the UK because the government intends to issue an exemption for scheduled services, it added.
The documents were published after Dominic Raab took aim at retailer John Lewis in a BBC Radio 4 interview, for claiming Brexit had affected its profits. John Lewis, which has suffered a 99% drop in profits for the first half of the year, said uncertainty over the outcome of EU negotiations was partially to blame for the drop.
Raab said: “It’s probably rather easy at this moment in time for any business which isn’t doing rather well to point to Brexit.”
He added: “I don’t doubt that uncertainty around these negotiations will have an impact on business. That’s why we are putting all our energy into getting the good deal that we want with our EU friends and partners, while making sure we manage the risks if it doesn’t happen.”