Mark’s EU Week for Transport 

Drama in Brussels today as the Brexit talks reach a climax. It looks like this really is ‘crunch week’, the most over-used phrase in European politics for the last four years!

This is finally it! Or is it? Read more below.

The Johnson-von der Leyen dinner tonight is being described as the last chance to secure a deal before the end of the year deadline. The weak winter sun in Brussels is hidden by a dark, foreboding sky. which reflects the mood here. Hopes are not high, but the UK climb down over those controversial, or illegal, depending what side of the argument you sit, paragraphs negating key elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol, have given the EU side fresh hope we may be on the brink of a UK climb down, albeit presented as a victory for Boris! We’ll update you when we hear more.

Deal or no deal, surely it’s nearly all over you are saying! I’m afraid not.

If there is a deal it will be superficial and the talks will have to resume in Brussels on the many unresolved issues.

If there is no deal, more friction at the border is likely, and there will be much bad blood all round, but watch my words, the talks will just resume early in the New Year.

So deal or no need we need to keep talking, and help foster a constructive atmosphere conducive to finding mutually advantageous agreements.

To learn more, join us at our UKTiE roundtable which will reconvene this Friday, 11 December at 09:00 GMT, 10:00 CET on Brexit with UKMis and DfT.

Anyone who has an interest in making a success of – or simply staying informed about – the new UK-EU future relationship for transport is invited to take part.

Contact us for more information.

1. European Commission publishes Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy
Today, Commissioners Frans Timmermans and Adina Valean presented the new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives that will guide their work for the next four years. This strategy lays the foundation for how the EU transport system can achieve its green and digital transformation and become more resilient to future crises. As outlined in the European Green Deal, the result will be a 90% cut in emissions by 2050, delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.

Milestones in the strategy:

By 2030:

  • at least 30 million zero-emission cars will be in operation on European roads
  • 100 European cities will be climate neutral.
  • high-speed rail traffic will double across Europe
  • scheduled collective travel for journeys under 500 km should be carbon neutral
  • automated mobility will be deployed at large scale
  • zero-emission marine vessels will be market-ready

By 2035

  • zero-emission large aircraft will be market-ready

By 2050

  • nearly all cars, vans, buses as well as new heavy-duty vehicles will be zero-emission.
  • rail freight traffic will double.
  • a fully operational, multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) for sustainable and smart transport with high speed connectivity.

2. Key takeaways from the new Strategy
1) Every transport sector has to decarbonise, including aviation and maritime, but private cars carry the burden until 2030. Real reductions only after 2030 for other modes.

2) Hydrogen is not the silver bullet to decarbonising transport, European Commission advocating a ‘basket of fuels and technologies’ approach, with a lot of reliance of liquid biofuels, e-liquids, bio-methane and natural gas.

3) Massive increases in investment required to fund this transformation, extra EUR 130 billion per year for infrastructure and vehicles, EUR 100 billion per year for digital transformation and  to complete the TEN-T core network. Not clear where that extra money will come from.

3. Special Brexit Briefing on December 11th 
On December 11th, we are hosting an UKTiE Brexit Roundtable on the back of our successful UKTiE-UKMis Roundtable.  Anyone who has an interest in making a success of – or simply staying informed about – the new UK-EU future relationship for transport is invited to take part.

Please register here if you would like to attend.

4. The European Way
UKTiE Coordinator Mark Watts has written a new blog on EU policymaking, across all sectors, is changing to fall in line with a new concept of European sovereignty, otherwise known as the ‘European Way’. What are the policy drivers behind this concept?

5. UKTiE has also put together the latest timetable. We will keep this up to date as the process develops:

  • 9 December 2020 – Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy.
  • 10-11 December 2020 – European Council summit.
  • 11 December 2020 – UKTiE and UKMiS Special Brexit Briefing.
  • 14 December 2020 – US Electoral College elects US President.
  • 31 December 2020 – End of current Multi Annual Financial Framework.
  • 31 December 2020 – End of Transition Period (tbc).
  • 29 January 2021 – Reconvened joint UKTiE and UKMiS roundtable.
Mark Watts
UK transport in Europe (UKTiE)
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