Britain’s railways gear up for a ‘no deal’ Brexit

EUROTUNNEL and the rail freight community say they are prepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit should the UK leave the European Union without an agreement on October 31 - but Labour says it would cause chaos on Britain’s transport networks.

On September 2, Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said of government analysis: “This confirms what industry has been telling the Government for years - a ‘no deal’ Brexit would throw the UK’s transport networks into chaos and cause a huge amount of disruption.

“The Government cannot be trusted to tell the truth. They have been denying the severity of a ‘no deal’ Brexit even when their own internal analysis warns of food and medicine shortages. The Tories are wasting colossal amounts of public money in preparation for something that would cause profound damage to our transport networks and the economy, if implemented.”

However, Rail Freight Group Director General Maggie Simpson told RAIL that the freight sector is ready for the possibility, explaining that “the acute part is securing cross-Channel trains in October - but that is little different from the situation in March this year”.

She added: “The freight operating companies believe they can run trains in a ‘no deal’ scenario, and they don’t have any expectations of any ‘showstoppers’.”

As for potential customs implications, Simpson said the Rail Freight Group believes there is a solution to doing customs checks at inland terminals.

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