Government ministers attend roundtable to discuss Brexit with rail industry leaders

Minister for Exiting the EU David Jones and Minister for Rail, Paul Maynard attended a roundtable with rail industry leaders, to hear their views on the Brexit negotiations.

The meeting was a forum to discuss the views of rail industry leaders on the forthcoming Brexit negotiations and talk about the opportunities Britain’s decision to leave the EU could bring to the sector.

The rail network is crucial to the UK’s economy. Research commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group estimates that rail operators and their supply chain employ up to 216,000 people and contribute up to £10.1bn to the UK economy each year.

The Government is continuing to invest in the industry and wants to secure the best possible deal for the sector and the country. Today’s roundtable gave Ministers an opportunity to listen to the sector and get their views on the priority issues and opportunities following the public vote to leave the EU.

Issues discussed included market access, cross-border services, the supply chain, safety, technical standards, trade, customs, research and innovation, and long-term opportunities.

These conversations will ensure that all views are reflected in the analysis being undertaken by the Government on the options for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Board-level executives from the following organisations were present at the roundtable:

  • Arriva
  • British Steel
  • Costain
  • Eurostar
  • Eurotunnel
  • First Group
  • Freightliner Group
  • High Speed 1
  • MTR Corporation
  • Network Rail
  • Rail Delivery Group
  • Rail Freight Group
  • Rail Supply Group
  • Railway Industry Association

Following the meeting, a joint statement was issued from the Minister for Exiting the EU, the Rail Minister, the Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, the Industry Chair of the Rail Supply Group and the Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association:

“Rail is essential to the success of the UK economy. Research commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group estimates that rail passenger and freight operators in Great Britain and their supply chain employ up to 216,000 people and contribute up to £10.1bn to the UK economy each year. Passenger journey numbers continue to rise, with over 1.7bn made in 2015-16. We want to protect and build on that success as we exit the EU.

“The Government and industry will work closely together to ensure that our railways, including our international links, continue to be a success, and to develop a full understanding of the opportunities that exiting the EU presents.

“We will also work closely together to explore new opportunities for the industry to grow manufacturing and exports.

“The UK’s railways are among the safest and fastest growing in Europe. We want to work together with a common aim to ensure that their growth, safety and success continues.”

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