University legal expert informs first EU Brexit committee

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07 Mar 2017 13:55:24.023

Professor Sue Arrowsmith, an expert in Public Procurement Law at the University of Nottingham, was recently invited to present to the very first hearing of the European Parliament on Brexit, held in Brussels.

Professor Arrowsmith’s presentation looked at ‘the consequences of Brexit for public procurement legal standards’. Such was the interest in this meeting, that it was significantly delayed to let all the people who wanted to attend it into the room, and was the best ever attended session organised by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

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There was also interest from UK political figures, including Lord Boswell, the Chair of the House of Lords EU Select Committee, and Diane James, former leader of UKIP, who both attended and asked questions.

Public procurement after Brexit
During the presentation, Professor Arrowsmith, who was the only UK academic presenting, explored the various ways in which public procurement could be dealt with after Brexit, and focused particularly on the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement.

Professor Arrowsmith explored how the WTO Government Procurement Agreement standards could be applied in a post-Brexit agreement and the potential legal consequences of them. She explained how the WTO rules on procurement are broadly very similar to EU rules and could be applied, with a few amendments, to take effect very quickly after the UK leaves the EU.

Speaking about her presentation, Professor Arrowsmith said: “It was a privilege to be asked to present my insights on public procurement to the EU, and to have an early input into the work of the Committee of the Parliament which will be looking at Brexit.

Increasing understanding of options
“I hope that I have helped to increase understanding of the options for addressing public procurement in a post Brexit agreement.”

The Chair of the Committee, Vicky Ford, praised Professor Arrowsmith for presenting “some very interesting potential solutions and options to try and smooth transitions in public procurement”.

Professor Arrowsmith has also been asked to provide the Committee with a more detailed report later this month, which will form the basis of the Parliament’s work on procurement under the UK-EU Brexit agreements.

To see the video of Professor Arrowsmith’s presentation to the Committee, click here (approximately 1:37:40 in).

Professor Sue Arrowsmith is the University of Nottingham’s Achilles Professor of Public Procurement Law and Policy. This project with the EU was administered through Nottingham University Consultants (NUC). For more details about NUC, visit or email

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…



Story credits

For more details email Professor Sue Arrowsmith, or tel: 0115 95 15702
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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