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October 03 2018
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

Below six months to Brexit: What about coaches?

The government’s technical note shows that much remains unresolved

What does Brexit mean if you run coaches? Nobody seems to know. That includes the government, which has taken the remarkable step of advising operators who have bookings for continental trips that take place after 29 March 2018 to examine whether they will be able to subcontract that work to EU operators.

That’s why it’s key that the UK industry retains a voice in Europe. No doubt, there is plenty of work available without leaving these shores, and also that any issues created with running into Europe after Brexit will be temporary.

But a smooth and as pain-free as possible transition to whatever awaits the UK after 29 March is imperative for the coach industry, and the government must mitigate potential hold-ups at borders as best as it is able to.

How likely any of the above are to occur is still to be seen. A technical note published last week amply demonstrates that there remains a great deal of uncertainty despite ‘Brexit day’ being less than six months away. There are questions over drivers’ ability to work in the EU, among other concerns.

This may make business planning a ‘finger in the air’ exercise in the meantime; alternatively, some will ascribe the document to a continuation of Project Fear, and hold the view that there is nothing to worry about.

Brexit has few certainties, but operators attending Euro Bus Expo at the NEC Birmingham on 30 October-1 November will find that the topic is among several that will be discussed in the Master Class Theatre. Is that something that you can afford to miss?

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