March 26, 2020 / 5:17 PM / 4 days ago

UK will consider joining future EU procurement schemes - PM Johnson's spokesman

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - Britain may take part in future EU procurement programmes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said on Thursday, adding non-participation thus far was the result of an unintentional communication issue.

Earlier on Thursday, the leader of the Liberal Democrat party had criticised Johnson for seemingly refusing to participate in a European Union ventilator procurement programme.

“Owing to an initial communication problem, the UK did not receive an invitation in time to join in four joint procurements in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” the spokesman said in a statement.

“As those four initial procurement schemes had already gone out to tender, we were unable to take part in these but we will consider participating in future procurement schemes on the basis of public health requirements at the time.” (Reporting by William James, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison)

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