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Questions for Shapps Over No Deal Transport Impact

22 August 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to the Government with questions of the 'upmost importance' relating to rail transport in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

The letter, to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, follows media coverage of ‘Operation Yellowhammer’, setting out the consequences of the UK exiting the European Union without a deal at midnight on 31st October.

The leaked Yellowhammer documents point to widespread delays in Eurotunnel services and ferries at Dover, with rail passengers and rail freight facing long delays using Eurotunnel especially passengers looking to use St Pancras station.

Media reports also note that the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling for the Government to confirm arrangements for the transportation of ‘Category 1’ goods – including medicines.

In the letter Manuel Cortes asks - ‘what level and manner of disruption the UK Government currently expects to see on Eurostar services and on rail freight services using Eurotunnel as a result of a No Deal Brexit?

‘I would also welcome detail in respect of any plans that are being made by Government to minimise such disruption if the Yellowhammer worst case is to be avoided.

‘Furthermore, given recent comments from the home Secretary, Priti Patel, stating that Freedom of Movement will end on 31st October I am also seeking categoric assurances that EU nationals working on the Eurostar services – many of whom are members of my union and who may not yet have settled status in the UK – will be allowed to return to their homes in this country at the end of their shift on 1st November rather than being left stranded at Calais’.

Cortes goes on to describe the situation relating to No Deal as ‘highly pressing matters of the upmost importance’, and calls for full details to be revealed in order to ‘allay public fears’.

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