Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on certain aspects of railway safety and connectivity with regard to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the Union
1. Under Directive 2004/49/EC, in order to be able to manage and operate a rail infrastructure, a rail infrastructure manager must obtain a safety authorisation from the national safety authority in the Member State where they are established.
2. The Commission's proposal would extend the validity of existing safety authorisations issued under Article 11 of Directive 2004/49/EC to infrastructure managers for the management and operation of cross-border rail infrastructure linking the UK and EU by three months from the 30th March 2019 in the event that a Withdrawal Agreement is not concluded between the UK and the EU. In practice, this Regulation would only apply to infrastructure and safety authorisations within the context of the Channel Tunnel Fixed Link, as this is the sole cross-border infrastructure linking the UK and EU, as defined by the Regulation. The proposal would not affect cross-border rail infrastructure on the island of Ireland.
3. The purpose of this proposal is intended to mitigate potential disruption arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU if there is no Withdrawal Agreement, in particular the need for the situation regarding the binational safety authority set up under the Treaty of Canterbury (the Intergovernmental Commission, IGC) to ‘be adapted’. In those circumstances, this proposal would extend the validity of any IGC-issued safety authorisation for a transitional period of three months from exit day to support the continuity of cross-border rail services through the Channel Tunnel. The proposal is conditional on the UK maintaining alignment with the relevant provisions on safety standards in EU law for its half of the Channel Tunnel Fixed Link throughout the three month period.