BRITAIN has secured a deal with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to remain within the its Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) after it leaves the European Union.
'Britain is a member of the GPA, whose members open up their combined $1.7tn (£1.28tn) government procurement markets to each other's firms, by virtue of its EU membership. Diplomats agreed Britain's continuing membership post-Brexit in principle in November, saying few changes would be needed and GPA members had an interest in keeping Britain within the club. British Ambassador Julian Braithwaite said: “Today's decision underlines our determination to minimise any disruption, however we leave the European Union.”
He said the European Union, Montenegro and Switzerland had had to amend their own membership terms to ensure continuity.
Members of the agreement have to buy their way in by opening up their procurement markets sufficiently to persuade the rest of the club to reciprocate.
The British Mission’s statement said membership would ensure “British taxpayers and public sector organisations, including government departments, continue to benefit from increased choice and value for money on contracts which are open to international competition”.
The statement said: “The agreement will continue to protect vital public services such as the NHS.”
There are 47 GPA members, including all EU countries.
Australia is joining and China wants to become a member.
Staying in the GPA is important so that British companies can bid for government work in the United States, the European Union and Japan, and their firms can retain access to Britain's procurement market.'
Read more: BREXIT VICTORY: UK secures WTO agreement - US praises ‘IMPORTANCE of Britain'