To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Draft Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the UK and the EU, why they decided to include an intention to make bilateral agreements for cross-border rail services; why no similar intention was included for cross-border bus services; whether they carried out a consultation on such arrangements; and if so, what were the results.
13 December 2018
As outlined in the Future Relationship White Paper in July and the Political Declaration on the Framework for the Future Relationship between the EU and the UK Government, published on 22 November, the EU and the UK have agreed that the UK will pursue bilateral agreements. These will be undertaken with France, Belgium and the Netherlands to ensure the continued smooth functioning and operation of services through the Channel Tunnel, and with Ireland to do the same for the Belfast‑Dublin Enterprise line.
Outside of these cross-border services, the UK will have the flexibility to shape its own domestic railway legislation to meet the needs of its passengers and freight shippers, and reflect the unique characteristics of the rail network within the UK.
Continued market access for transport between the UK and the EU, including for bus and coach travel, is in our mutual interests. We will seek to agree cross-border bus services as part of the future relationship with the EU. In the event of no deal, as set out in the Department for Transport Technical Notice ‘Operating bus or coach services abroad if there’s no Brexit deal’, the UK would seek to put in place bilateral agreement with EU countries.
Consultations with industry have been ongoing, and we will continue to take on board the views of stakeholders.