Electrification renewals (Photo: Network Rail).

UK: The Railway Industry Association has set out four key requests to the government as the UK looks to develop an independent trade policy following the end of the Brexit transition period.

These are for:

  • rail to continue to be included in the negotiation of free trade deals;
  • access to an appropriately skilled workforce and mobility for skilled UK workers, at all levels, to enable the UK to compete globally;
  • consistent application of standards with mutual recognition/equivalence and non-discrimination as core principles in all trade agreements;
  • smooth cross-border trade rules, which minimise cost and delay, and avoid distortionary tariffs as much as possible.

‘It is worth remembering that the rail industry is a significant UK exporter, selling £800m each year overseas in goods and services’, said Damian Testa, Senior Policy Manager at RIA, on July 27. ‘With the UK currently negotiating free trade agreements with a number of other states, there is the opportunity for the UK rail industry to export even more, but there is also the risk that that barriers to trade could arise through changes in policy.

‘The Railway Industry Association is therefore setting out four principles today, highlighting what the rail sector needs to flourish in a post-transition environment.’