UK procurement law bill passes key stage – includes NZ and AUS free trade


A UK bill to implement the changes in domestic procurement law required to implement free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand has moved closer to reality.

The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill will move the Australia and New Zealand trade deals into the UK statute book.

The second reading of the bill was passed September 6 in the House of Commons by 309 votes in favour to 56 against.

Former international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan told the Institute of Export and International Trade “over the long run our UK-Australia agreement is expected to increase annual trade by over £10 billion.”

She added it would mean a £2.3 billion boost to the UK economy and a £900 million increase in household wages. “Beyond this, the agreement supports the economy of the future thanks to the first ever innovation chapter of any trade deal in the world,” she added.

The New Zealand component of the deal  will increase “overall bilateral trade by 60%, providing an £800m uplift to the UK economy on top of the £2.5 billion a year in bilateral trade” already.” Ms Trevelyan said. 

The Australian deal is estimated to boost trade by £10.4bn and add £2.3bn to the UK economy, the Financial Times reported. 

The UK Government says the Bill would create powers to change UK domestic procurement law to implement the public procurement chapters of each agreement. UK procurement rules, set out in procurement regulations and guidance, regulate government and wider public sector purchases of goods and services.

Supporters of the Bill say it will enable businesses to share their expertise more widely between the three countries. 

The UK Government has called for those with expertise or interest to submit their feedback on the Bill in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee. Deadline for submissions is 22 September, if not declared earlier. 

What’s next?

  • Committee stage – a Public Bill Committee will examine the bill in detail and amendments by MPs will be put forward
  • Report stage – MPs will debate the bill in the Commons, proposing and voting on amendments
  • Third reading – the bill is debated again and a vote is held in the Commons on whether it should be passed into law
  • House of Lords – the Lords debate and make amendments to the bill, and the Commons may consider these amendments. However, as per the Parliament Act, the Commons may pass the bill regardless of the Lords’ assent or amendments.
  • Royal Assent – if the bill has passed, HM Queen as head of state agrees to formally turn the bill into legislation (Source: Institute of Export and International Trade)

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PASA (Procurement and Supply Australasia) is the leading provider of information, education and networking opportunities to procurement professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, training, awards and PASA CONNECT membership network. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing Pty Ltd. BTTB Marketing has operated under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences and PASA names for over twenty years.

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