A rail freight train at the Channel Tunnel portal. Photo by Groupe Eurotunnel.
The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) underlines that Brexit must not undermine the ongoing development of the Single European Rail Area. As a service with public relevance, railways are a network industry that operate in a heavily regulated environment. Legal certainty for rail business and in the relations between the EU and the UK is of fundamental importance.
In November, CER Executive Director Libor Lochman was invited to speak at a parliamentary hearing organised by the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism in view of assessing the impact of Brexit on land transport business.
“At this stage of the negotiations, it is difficult to assess what the impact of Brexit will be.” said CER Executive Director Libor Lochman. “If Brexit will mean an abrupt withdrawal from the Union, with neither a post-Brexit agreement between the parties nor any other transitional arrangement in place, then I have no doubt that the impact on the rail sector will be challenging”.
From different sides of the rail business, all speakers fundamentally agreed that a hard Brexit will present challenges for the industry. Libor Lochman underlined five key priorities for rail to mitigate this risk:
CER Executive Director Libor Lochman added: “If negotiating parties can find an agreement on these five priorities, we believe that railways in the EU and UK can run competitive cross border passenger and freight services and continue to contribute to the delivery of the Single European Rail Area and all the benefits for customers that brings.”
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