Has The Sun Just Discovered Public Procurement Regulations?

Last Friday saw an idiotic article in the Sun, featuring posh Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who thought it was disgusting that EU public procurement rules actually apply to public procurement … who knows, those nasty foreigners might get their grubby hands on our great big clock. Yes, I said clock ...

THE £29 million restoration of Big Ben could be carried out by Polish builders and Romanian roofers due to barmy EU rules, The Sun can reveal. Parliament is being forced to offer lucrative contracts for repairing Britain’s most famous clock to foreign firms in the European Union - rather than making sure the work is carried out by UK tradesmen. That is because EU procurement rules require major taxpayer-funded works to be opened up across the continent in a deliberate attempt to stop “buy national” policies”.

Yes, EU procurement rules do require that, just as they require other countries to open up contracts to UK firms. It is called free trade and competition, and it is sad to see Conservative politicians – who should understand the positives of capitalism and market competition, you might think, taking such a stupid point of view.

“Fellow Tory Andrew Percy said: “If this was Canada or Australia or the United States we would be able to apply local procurement rules, but because of EU rules we can’t."

“British people will be outraged to think rules from Brussels could force us to give foreign firms contracts to restore great British icon for no other reason that we are in the EU.”

Of course the whole thing is driven by the fact that The Sun is supporting an exit vote in the forthcoming EU membership referendum, so this is just one more bullet fired in that war. But don’t take our scorn for this article by the way as a sign that the Spend Matters editorial team are firmly “stay” rather than Brexit – I haven’t made my mind up yet. But whilst I can see some good reasons for leaving the EU, moving towards an ultra-protectionist stance on public procurement is not one of them.

Oh well, I suppose we should be excited that the largest selling newspaper in the country is featuring public procurement issues!

First Voice

  1. Toni Saraiva:

    And actually Canada and many other countries also open their procurement up to other countries including all the companies based in the European Union thanks to the agreement on procurement at WTO level…

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