The U.K. is making preparations in case a Brexit deal doesn’t go through by the March 2019 deadline.
In July, Brussels rejected the U.K.’s proposals on how to govern London’s access to the European market after Brexit, saying that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest plan would take away the EU’s “decision-making autonomy.” The uncertainty means many in the U.K. are preparing for the chance that there might not be a deal in place before the deadline. With that in mind, the U.K. government has issued advice on accessing public sector contracts if this worry does become a reality.
According to Government Computing, under EU membership, procurement opportunities within the scope of EU “directives are advertised on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) via Tenders Electronic Daily (TED).” In addition, “opportunities for below threshold contracts that do not fall within the scope of EU procurement directives are currently advertised on ‘domestic’ portals, such as Contracts Finder, Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales and eTendersNI.”
If a Brexit deal doesn't happen in time, the government explained that a replacement U.K.-specific eNotification service will be available, and contract opportunities to be published on OJEU/TED would be placed on the new service instead, and be available for free to all users.
Major food and drink companies are also getting ready for Brexit, with The Grocer reporting that many have been stockpiling supplies in case key ports stop operating and if a deal is not in place before the deadline. In fact, this week confectionery giant Mondelez said that it was shipping in ingredients to prepare for the worst case scenario. Four other retailers have also made "safety stock" plans, stockpiling three to five days-worth of extra goods. One said it even plans to have 10 days of extra products on hand.
"For raw materials, there is the assumption that suppliers to the manufacturers will hold higher levels of stock, reducing the burden on the manufacturers' warehouses, in the same way that retailers will almost certainly expect their suppliers to hold higher levels of stock (at no cost to them)," a logistics source said.