BT's EU contracts 'jeopardised' by Brexit

BT’s existing communications contracts with the EU, and the company’s ability to bid for new tenders, could be jeopardised by Brexit.

The Guardian reports that EU officials and MEPs are reviewing the role of its British-based contractors after the UK ceases to be a member state.

It is thought that the EU wishes to honour existing contracts, but it could terminate ones deemed to be “sensitive”, such as telecommunications., for security reasons.

BT EU relationship

Such a course of action could be less likely should the UK and EU ratify the agreed withdrawal bill, which would effectively make the UK a member state until as late as 2022. It’s unclear what impact a favourable future trading relationship would have on the situation after that date.

However, a no-deal Brexit increases the possibility of an early termination.

Such a move would be a blow for BT which has won more than £150 million-worth of contracts with the EU over the past decade.

In March 2015, it secured a €55.7 million (£39.2m), five-year contract to supply connectivity to major European Institutions across all then-28 member states, while in August of the same year it won a €15 million deal to provide voice services to the European Commission.

These deals offered a boost BT Global Services (BTGS) which has been the subject of declining revenues and an accounting scandal in Italy.

“BT is proud to have served a number of EU institutions for over 30 years and looks forward to continuing to do so, based on the quality of the services provided, the strength of our commercial relationships and most importantly the satisfaction of our customers throughout the EU,” a BT spokesperson told TechRadar Pro.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.