UK Transport and Brexit News & Views No. 45

Are you ready for the biggest ever EU shake up for UK transport?

Tomorrow is our 7th UKTiE Forum, the largest annual gathering of Britain’s leading transport companies and organisations with EU legislators.  The theme is ‘Clean, connected and competitive: How to modernise Europe’s transport system’. We have brought together a powerful group of speakers from across Europe, with an intimate knowledge of the sector to share their thoughts on the changes they see as necessary in order for transport to become cleaner and more connected, and on how they see us getting there. We aim to host a constructive discussion on how we, together, can help move European transport forward to harness the changes brought forth by the decarbonisation and digitalisation agendas.

With the recent release of the Commission’s Mobility Package, we at UKTiE feel that a jolt of adrenaline has been given to the forces of change within European transport as the sector seeks to move away from being one of Europe’s most polluting sectors towards one that leads the change towards cleaner and more connected mobility, that will ultimately make the sector more competitive.

Our speakers include our Patron, Jacqui Foster MEP (Conservative Transport Spokesman), Lucy Anderson, MEP (Labour Transport Spokesperson) and Martin Johnson, a Deputy Director from the Department for Exiting the European Union, who will provide us with the perspective of the British government. All will participate in what promises to be a lively discussion on the future of European Transport for UK transport operators.

Although it is now too late to register to attend the Forum itself, if you would like to get involved in shaping the European transport agenda moving forward then please contact us. As I have said repeatedly in recent months, whatever the outcome of Brexit if we wish to trade and travel to and from the Europe EU transport regulations will continue to apply, so it is essential we have a say on what can only be described as the biggest ever EU shake up for UK transport.  

1. One day until UKTiE’s 7th Annual Forum
UKTiE’s Annual Forum will take place tomorrow in the European Parliament from 14h30-18h00. The theme for the Forum is “Clean, connected and competitive – how to modernise Europe’s transport system”. The three sessions will discuss 1) Decarbonising road, rail, maritime and air transport, 2) Digitalisation of road, rail, maritime and air transport, and 3) Reforms to keep road, rail, maritime and air transport competitive. Brexit or no Brexit, planned EU regulations are still likely to apply to you in some form.

Speakers will include: Jacqueline Foster MEP, Conservative Transport Spokesperson; Lucy Anderson MEP, Labour Transport Spokesman; Tom Vöge , Policy Analyst, International Transport Forum; Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General, European Sea Ports Organisation; Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe; Isabelle Maitre, Head of Brussels Office, Fédération Nationale des Transports Routiers; Laura Wright, Head of International Policy, Rail Delivery Group; Mark Watts, Coordinator, UK Transport in Europe; David Kerr, Transport Coordinator, Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU; and Martin Johnson, Deputy Director, Transport, Energy, and Environment, Deputy Director, Customs (to January 2018); Department for Exiting the European Union .
Registration is now closed. The programme is available here. If you are interested in helping to shape the European transport agenda then please join us and have your voice heard!

2. TRAN Committee holds hearing on the ‘Impact of Brexit on Land Transport’
At a hearing on “Brexit and the impact on land transport’ hosted by the Transport & Tourism Committee, speakers including Laura Wright of Rail Delivery Group, an UKTiE member, addressed issues concerning the road and rail sectors in relation to Brexit. There was a general expression of concern  in the first session on the road transport over what Verona Murphy (President, Irish Road Haulage Association) labelled as the “potentially devastating impact of a Hard Brexit on the Irish economy and the Irish hauling industry”. In the second session on rail transport, Laura Wright described European rail transport and its implementation of the Single European Rail Area project as being particularly vulnerable to a “Hard Brexit” as the sector and the project both require mutual recognition of licenses, qualifications and standards that are required.

3. UK aerospace national lobby group says that Brexit cost to aerospace is ‘Extremely Worrying’
ADS Group, the aerospace sector’s national lobby group in the UK, submitted evidence to Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee which stated that Britain’s exit from the European Union could cost the U.K. aerospace industry 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) in extra customs expenses. This new cost would stem from ‘increased checks at the border’ if British and EU customs processes do not remain harmonized post-Brexit. The group further warned that “Additional burdens such as paperwork on proof of origin, regulatory compliance, storage and delays could total 15 percent of the value of each transaction”. The group further stated that “since aerospace is already largely tariff free thanks to World Trade Organization agreements, limited gains from free trade accords that Britain might strike with non-EU countries won’t be sufficient to offset the higher customs expense.” ADS Group also called for the UK’s continued participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency, and said that there should be continued participation in EU-funded research programs. Contact us if you are also worried about the impact of Brexit on your sector.

4. Leaked Brexit paper shows that UK airlines risk losing flying rights,
According to a leaked paper on Brexit, if Britain left the single market then UK-owned airlines would automatically lose existing flying rights in Europe’s “fully liberalised” aviation market, and would no longer be entitled to EU recognition of approvals for parts or certificates for airworthiness. Furthermore, the paper states that ownership restrictions would also apply, forcing groups such as Ryanair and International Airlines Group to buy out British shareholders to ensure they were 50 per cent owned and controlled by EU nationals, in order to continue operating routes within the EU. Although the UK government does not see the grounding of flights as a realistic outcome, even in the event of a ‘Hard’ Brexit, the leaked paper outlines that full market access — including “up to nine freedoms of the air” — would require “full transposition and application of the EU acquis [of aviation law]” and “alignment with European Court of Justice interpretation of EU acquis”. Alignment with the ECJ is, of course, one of the UK government’s red lines for the Brexit negotiations. Let us know if you want to learn more about flight rights in the EU.

5. Phil Hogan, Ireland’s Commissioner to the EU weighs in on the Irish Border question
Phil Hogan, Ireland’s Commissioner to the EU, has warned Theresa May that her current Brexit plans are putting the UK on course for a Brexit crisis. Hogan also warned that there was blind faith from some UK Ministers that Britain would secure a comprehensive Brexit free trade deal, and that Ireland would continue to play tough over its veto threat until it secures border issue guarantees from the UK Government. Hogan believes that there is a simple solution to the border issue, the UK or Northern Ireland remaining in the Customs Union and even the Single Market.

6. Final EU Trade deal impossible before Brexit according to Ivan Rogers, the UK’s former ambassador to the EU
In a lecture on UK-EU relations, Ivan Rogers said that Theresa May can hope for no more than an “aspirational” and “purely political” agreement on free trade and not a legal agreement. Rogers said that “Political agreements, with highfalutin aspirational guff are one thing. Legally binding agreements, treaty changes and trade deal texts are another. All we shall see, at very best, on U.K.-EU trade in 2018 is a political agreement on ambit, not legal texts”.

7. The view from Paris: The Bank of France issues warning on the need to avoid a ‘Cliff-Edge’ Brexit
Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau has warned that the UK and EU need to make progress on Brexit in order to avoid the consequences of an abrupt separation that would pose risks to both economies Speaking at a lunch organised by the French Chamber of Commerce in London, Francois Villeroy de Galhau warned that both sides must undertake any and all preparatory action in order the potential ‘cliff-edge’ Brexit. While the Bank of France Governor believes that all EU economies will be impact by Brexit, he also believes that the UK will bear the brunt of the Brexit risks. He also emphasized that EU authorities have a duty to protect the bloc’s financial system and that will mean inevitably that some financial business will shift from Britain to the remaining 27 members of the bloc. Francois Villeroy de Galhau also addressed the Single Market access for a Post-Brexit UK, and said that you cannot separate access and rules when it comes to the Single Market.  Are you concerned about the threat of a ‘Cliff-Edge’ Brexit? Contact us to find out what you can do about pushing for a transition deal.

8. UKTiE Supported by IDA Group
UKTiE’s work is supported by IDA Group. IDA Group is a highly specialized consultancy for governmental affairs, reputation management, trade and funding. They share the belief in effective dialogue built upon trust and mutual understanding. Their diverse team of experts includes seasoned diplomats, politicians, journalists, lawyers and designers, supported by a global network of trusted partners, can help create measurable impact for your business. You will find more information on IDA Group and what services they can provide you with here.

9. Donald Tusk sets December 4th deadline for Brexit offer, coinciding with a dinner between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker 
After meeting Theresa May on the fringes of the Eastern Partnership Summit last week in Brussels, European Council President Donald Tusk has set an “absolute deadline” of December 4 for the U.K. to submit a revised offer on the Brexit bill and a credible solution for the Irish border, telling U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday that otherwise it would not be possible to move on to the second phase of talks. This deadline coincides with a dinner that Theresa May will be having with Juncker on the evening of December 4th and falls in the middle of deliberations for crafting the European Council Summit Conclusions ahead of the December 14-15 Summit. Are you concerned with what this means for the Brexit negotiations? Contact us if you would like to know what insights UKTiE has been hearing about the  political realities surrounding the negotiations.

10. 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.
  • 14-22 November 2017 – Internal preparatory discussions among EU27 for future EU-UK relationship.
  • 28 November 2017 – UKTiE Annual Forum- The Future of European Transport.
  • 6-12 December 2017 – European Council conclusions/guidelines to be finalised.
  • 14-15 December 2017 – European Council meeting to review progress of negotiations.
  • TBC 2018 – UKTiE  & Norton Rose Fulbright Summit: Customs arrangements after Brexit.
  • 30 September 2018 – Date by which EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, wants to conclude the terms of Britain’s exit from the Union.
  • 30 March 2019 – Britain formally exits the EU, following ratification of Brexit by all other member states and the European Parliament.
  • June 2019 – European Parliament election.
Mark Watts
Co-ordinator
UK transport in Europe (UKTiE)
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