Friday, June 24th, 2016


The Nation has spoken! In our article dated 20/06/2016 we pointed out that there were implications for procurement. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty now applies. At paragraph 1 it states that ‘Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.’ At Paragraph 2 it states that ‘A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.’ At Paragraph 3 it states ‘The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.’

Procurement people are well versed in reading the small print and will notice the weasel words in the above.

The negotiations are subject to the detail in Article 218 of the Lisbon Treaty. If you need a sleep, try reading this. Paragraph 2 states ‘The Council shall authorise the opening of negotiations, adopt negotiating directives, authorise the signing of agreements and conclude them.’ At paragraph 8 it states that ‘The Council shall act by a qualified majority throughout the procedure.’

All of this begs a much bigger issue. Who will negotiate on behalf of the United Kingdom? Who will determine their brief? How is this put to the people for comment, involvement, acceptance or rejection?

Meantime, procurement specialists will be avidly studying their supply chain implications, and starting their own negotiations.