Preparing for a no-deal Brexit world

CPT shares what operators can expect when travelling to the EU after Brexit

Keith McNally, Operations Director at the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), took to the podium in The Theatre to address a subject on everyone’s minds: Brexit.

While Mr McNally says he’s “not really sure what’s going to happen at the end of this month”, he did shine some clarity on how things would change in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“Starting off with market access, if we leave without a deal there is of course the Interbus Agreement.”

In this instance, Mr McNally says you will need to use a different type of journey waybill form – which are available from CPT. Some differences between the EU journey form and the Interbus form include being able to do typical private hire and to work from the UK to Europe, but not cabotage.

“Somebody might go from the UK empty, pick up a group in Paris and do some sort of touring in France, drop them off again and come back empty. Clearly that wouldn’t be allowed – we’ve always understood that,” he says.

“There is unfortunately a wider definition of cabotage because the EU is treated as a single country in the Interbus Agreement, so you couldn’t do an international journey between two EU countries – you couldn’t go to France pick up a group and take them to Germany on tour; there needs to be a link to and from the UK as part of Interbus.”

Switzerland is another potentially big issue. “There is an agreement between the UK and Switzerland that allows coach journeys between the two countries. Unfortunately, it’s not good as it stands because you’re not able to travel through the EU for the best part of that – which clearly is necessary.

“One potential solution is Switzerland to also come into the Interbus Agreement. It is a possibility, but otherwise the UK would need to negotiate an agreement with Switzerland and the EU to allow transit through the EU.”

Other things to consider:

  • If you are an international operator, you will need to have copies of your O-Licence. If you don’t have those, you need to speak to the OTC and make sure you do have sufficient copies
  • Drivers would need six months validity on a passport and, in addition, it’s worth thinking about a longer passport to accept stamps
  • In terms of EU workers in the UK, there are three categories: Those who are here already. They need to apply for EU settlement status if they’re going to stay for a long time. Those from the EU who will arrive after 31 October, they can apply for a European temporary leave to remain – so up until the end of December next year people who come after the 31 October this year will be able to apply for that which would be valid for up to 36 months. And for longer the government is looking at introducing an Australian-style point system for skilled workers.