When we leave the EU we will be able to change our procurement rules for the public sector. I would like to see a greater presumption that we buy things from local and UK suppliers where there are appropriate goods and services available with more than one competitor for the business.
We can under EU rules buy more from the UK in the area of defence. It us good that our new aircraft carriers, for example, are being built in the UK with UK steel.
Yet we are buying armed vehicles from Germany, and the steel for our subs is coming from France. The Defence department should work harder to make sure we have the capacity here to meet our needs. Surely an order for 800 armoured vehicles could provide sufficient workload to offer a worthwhile invetsment for a UK factory?
The UK is a huge importer of many things needed to build homes. We import large quantities of tile, bricks, kitchen and bathroom assemblies, central heating boilers, taps, valves, copper pipe, and many aluminium and steel items. As the government and Councils are large builders in their own right directly and through the Housing Associations why not demand a higher UK component in the new homes, or choose specs which UK businesses have a chance of delivering?
I am always struck in France at how much public procurement there buys French, even whilst operating the EU rules. Freed of the EU rules we should be able to do better than our neighbours in this crucial area.