The WTO announced that at a meeting of the Committee on Government Procurement on 7 October, parties to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) invited the United Kingdom to complete the remaining steps to join the Agreement in its own right following its departure from the European Union. They also applauded Brazil for submitting the first documentation required to start negotiations to join the Agreement.

At the meeting, GPA parties adopted a decision granting the UK the right to submit its GPA instrument of accession to the Committee in 2021. This is the final step required for the UK to join the GPA in its own right. As a former EU member, the UK still remains covered by the GPA under the transition period agreed between the UK and the EU. This transition period ends on 31 December 2020. The decision will allow the UK to accede to the GPA as soon as the UK’s transition period with the EU expires.