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Fri, 14 August 2020

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Railway Industry Association sets out four ‘asks’ for UK’s future trade policy

Railway Industry Association

2 min read Member content

The Railway Industry Association, the voice of the UK rail supply community, has set out four key ‘asks’ for Government as the UK looks to develop an independent trade policy.

The four asks include:

  1. Rail to continue to be included in the negotiation of free trade deals – UK rail exports are a real growth opportunity;
  2. Access to an appropriately skilled workforce and mobility for skilled UK workers, at all levels, to enable the UK to compete globally;
  3. Consistent application of standards with mutual recognition/equivalence and non-discrimination as core principles in all trade agreements; and
  4. Smooth cross border trade rules – which minimise cost and delay, and avoid trade distortionary tariffs as much as possible.

Damian Testa, Senior Policy Manager at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “As the UK prepares to leave the EU transition period and develop its own independent trade policy, it is worth remembering that the rail industry is a significant UK exporter, selling £800 million each year overseas in goods and services. 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. This means rail being considered in free trade agreements, ensuring continued access to skilled overseas and domestic workers, the consistent application of standards and smooth cross border trade rules that minimise disruption for rail businesses.

“As we approach the crunch point for talks with the EU and other nations, we ask the Government to consider the role rail can play in developing a ‘Global Britain’.”

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