Rail standards to stay – even in a “no-deal” Brexit

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The standards and protocols that help ensure the different companies across the railway work safely as a system will remain after Brexit, says rail industry body RSSB.

Regardless of whether the government strikes a deal with the EU or not, the legal requirements designed to promote common safety and technical principles across all EU railways will still need to be met by UK rail companies and suppliers.

Where these exist in EU law, such as in Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs), these are still likely to apply during a period of transition should a deal be done.

In a no-deal scenario, TSIs will be adapted to work in the UK as domestic legislation, published as National Technical Specification Notices (NTSNs) by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Network Rail and other mainline infrastructure firms, train and freight operating companies, rolling stock leasers and suppliers should all plan to continue to use relevant cross-industry standards – including Railway Group Standards, Rail Industry Standards and the Rule Book – after Brexit on 29 March 2019.

RSSB's Director of Standards, Tom Lee, said: 'We have been working very closely with the Department for Transport over the past year to ensure that requirements derived from the EU framework are legally fit for purpose for application in the UK with workable solutions in place, even in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario.  We want to ensure that day one post-Brexit, the UK standards framework is suitably aligned to the EU for immediate continuity and is legally robust, whilst providing for possible future divergence, if beneficial.'

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