To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on the Eurostar and rail freight companies in relation to the EU Commission’s position on the validity of ORR issued rail operating licences within the EU after the UK leaves the EU.
The UK is committed to ensuring the continued smooth functioning and operation of cross-border rail services through the Channel Tunnel, which is in the mutual interests of both the UK and affected EU Member States.
The Government is actively engaging with a range of European counterparts, including relevant Member States, to secure bilateral arrangements for cross-border rail services for both passenger and freight services once the UK leaves the EU. Discussions to date have been productive and we remain confident about concluding appropriate arrangements so that these mutually-beneficial cross-border services continue.
The Government is also working closely with cross-border rail operators to ensure they are as prepared as possible for all scenarios, including supporting operators’ preparations to ensure they hold valid licences and certificates to continue operating in the EU in the event of no deal. The Government is also engaging with relevant Member States and regulators to maintain appropriate levels of cooperation, for example on safety and economic matters. These preparations will support the continued smooth operation of services in all scenarios.