House of Commons Library

Brexit and transport

Published Monday, April 16, 2018

This Commons Library briefing paper discusses some of the pertinent issues in the four main transport policy areas: aviation, railways, roads and road-based public transport, and maritime. It will be updated and expanded as more information is published and new issues emerge.

Jump to full report >>

On 23 June 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister, Theresa May, triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union on 29 March 2017 to begin the process of exit.

The UK is currently in the process of negotiating its exit from the EU, to take effect on 29 March 2019, a transition period and the shape of our future relationship with the EU. As those negotiations are ongoing, we do not yet know with any certainty what the effects of Brexit on transport policy, industry, services and operations will be.

This paper discusses some of the pertinent issues in the four main transport policy areas: aviation, railways, roads and road-based transport, and maritime.

Select committees across both Houses of Parliament have produced reports on Brexit and its potential impacts on various aspects of transport policy and have taken evidence from ministers about the Government’s priorities.

To date it is probably fair to say that the most attention has been given to the impact of Brexit on air travel, particularly the low-cost market between the UK and the EU27 and how UK-licensed airlines ,which operate across the EU, will be affected by the UK’s possible exit from the European Common Aviation Area. The Department for Transport has indicated that this is a priority for them, along with international freight transport. A Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill is currently before Parliament to make provision about the international transport of goods by road in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.  

Once the current arrangements have been transposed into UK law via the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, the Government will then be able to review what it wants to keep and what requires change. The Bill creates a new category of domestic law for the UK: retained EU law. Retained EU law will consist of all the converted EU law and preserved EU-related domestic law which was in force on the day before the UK left the EU. The Bill provides the legislative mechanisms to create the post-Brexit constitution and statute book rather than the substantive answers to questions as to what these will look like.

This paper will be updated as more information is published and new issues emerge.

For more briefings on Brexit, visit the House of Commons Library Brexit portal.

If you have a Parliamentary email account you can find a selection of articles and reports about Brexit and transport by following this link.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7633

Author: Louise Butcher

Topics: Aviation, EU external relations, EU law and treaties, Railways, Roads, Shipping

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.