Mark’s EU Week for Transport 
With all signs pointing towards a No Deal Brexit being the most likely outcome, we have decided to dedicate this update towards exploring what a No Deal Brexit would mean for the UK transport sector. We will focus primarily on what the EU has done to prepare for a No Deal Brexit as an indication to the level of access and connectivity that UK transport will have to the continent after October 31st.

If you haven’t already done so, I would also highly recommend taking a look at a study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Transport Committee titled “BREXIT: transport and tourism – the consequences of a no-deal scenario“. I would also recommend reading the excellent, if not somewhat depressing, report by the CBI looking into UK and EU No Deal Brexit preparations titled. The conclusions of both of these documents, taken together, lead one to conclude that the UK and the EU are not as prepared for a No Deal Brexit as they could be and that the basic connectivity measures will serve as an ill-fitted plaster to what will be severe disruptions across all moves of transport for UK transport.

With no shortage of material available to read on what a No Deal Brexit would mean, we hope that our analysis and summary of what this scenario means for Aviation, Road, Rail, Maritime and Customs will serve as a useful tool in understanding the more practical consequences of leaving on October 31st without a deal.

This week’s song of the week, is Here We Go by WILD.

1. Aviation
Airlines will be able to continue operations but it will not be business as usual. The commission has passed two legal acts allowing airlines to fly point-to-point between the UK and European cities. These basic flying rights, which will be matched by the UK, last until March 2020. But flight operators will not be able to fly on to other EU destinations, or take new passengers to a non-UK destination. The six-month measures provide a short window for the EU and UK to negotiate a future air deal but new arrangements are unclear. Airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet and IAG, the parent company of British Airways, also need to meet the EU’s airline ownership and control rules, which require majority ownership by EU nationals. Another practical consequence for UK aviation will be an end to its membership of EASA without any association membership status planned in a No Deal Brexit scenario. While the EU and the UK have jointly guaranteed basic connectivity measures for aviation, these measures are limited in time and in scope and will most certainly need to be updated or lengthened if the both sides cannot reach a wider aviation agreement by March 2020. For more information, read the European Commission’s notice to stakeholders on Brexit and Air Transport and the notice to stakeholders on Brexit and Air Transport safety rules.

2. Road
UK truckers will be granted temporary haulage rights to ensure “basic connectivity” to help minimise disruption and queues at ports such as Calais. The measures will stay in place until the end of 2019 but will restrict UK trucks to limited deliveries in the EU. These measures enable UK-licenced road hauliers and coach and bus operators to carry goods and passengers between the UK and the remaining 27 member states. The rights granted by these measures will be conditional on equivalent rights being conferred by the UK to operators from the 27 member states and subject to conditions ensuring fair competition. Furthermore, the EU has stated thatUK drivers for EU operators will have to achieve a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence issued by an EU country, which requires 35 hours of training for each driver to achieve in many Member States –though there are different approaches in each nation For more information, read the European Commission’s notice to stakeholders on Brexit and Road Transport.

The most practical and visible consequence on maritime transport of a No Deal Brexit will be the loss of cabotage rights. The EU published a notice to stakeholders on Brexit and rules in the field of maritime security. In a No Deal Brexit, there would be an end of mutual recognition of seafarers’ certificates and marine equipment approvals. A No Deal Brexit would also see the end of UK participation in the EMSA agency, as well as an end to non-discriminatory access to provision of public maritime services and port services an end to the validity of UK sponsorship of recognised organisation. Despite the EU’s increased exposure when it comes to disruption at ports, most of the preparation has been undertaken by Member States.   For more information, read the European Commission’s notice to stakeholders on Brexit and Maritime Transport.

4. Rail
The EU passed a regulation which affords a temporary extension of the validity of certain authorisations, certificates and licences that are needed to run the services. These measures are conditional on identical standards, requirements and procedures being applied to cross-border rail connectivity by the UK. These measures are the most restrictive of the transport-related connectivity measures, with no agency membership in ERA and no licenses for UK products being placed on the EU market. Furthermore, While rail may be dealt with on a primarily bilateral nature, with countries such as France, the nature of preparedness measures at an EU level remains lacking in specific detail. For more information, read the European Commission’s notice to stakeholders on Brexit and Rail Transport.

5. Customs
Under a No Deal Brexit scenario, Britain would fall out of the EU’s customs union under a no-deal Brexit, meaning UK companies would have to fill in customs declarations, change labels on food products and get health checks for exports containing animal products. On the EU side, the European Commission has passed legislation allowing time adjustments on customs declarations, but provides no special waivers for Britain’s busy roll-on roll-off ports, which are among the most widely used and cheapest methods of transporting goods between the UK and EU. The European Commission has also issued, among other notices, a guidance note on customs-related matters in the event of a no deal Brexit. In this, it is outlined how the UK will be treated as a third country in a no deal scenario for customs and VAT and excise duties, that UK Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) authorisations will not be recognised in the EU, and that UK content for rules of origin will no longer qualify as EU content within the EU’s Common Commercial Policy For more information, read the European Commission’s preparation note for Customs in a No Deal Brexit scenario.

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

  • 29 March 2017 – A50 triggered.
  • 5 April 2017 – European Parliament adopted Brexit guidelines.
  • 22 May 2017 – Brexit negotiating directives approved by Council.
  • 19 June 2017 –  Negotiations formally began.
  • 23 March 2018– European Council agreed guidelines on the future trading relationship.
  • 23-26 May 2019 – European Parliament election.
  • 2-3 September 2019 – Next TRAN Committee meetings
  • 4-5 September 2019 – Next ENVI Committee meetings
  • 31 October 2019 – The UK will formally leave the EU. (tbc)
  • 01 November 2019 – Start of new European Commission mandate. (tbc)
  • 31 December 2020 – End of Transition Period (tbc).
Mark Watts
UK transport in Europe (UKTiE)
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