Ahead of Brexit, the Government wants public sector bodies to buy British – and to do so, it is helping buyers avoid the EU state aid rules we are subject to until the day we leave. Purchasers are being encouraged to consider “social and environmental” issues as part of their wider value for money calculations. This gives a lot of room to decide that UK suppliers meet purchasing criteria more closely than, say, Chinese steel makers with poor environmental standards.
A Brexit transition deal may be hard to achieve. It will be much easier for HMG to provide transition assistance direct to UK industries, using taxpayers’ money to make up for any damage inflicted by a punishment deal from Brussels.