EU-UK relations: Council adopts Channel Tunnel railway safety measures
The Council yesterday adopted legislation to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Channel Tunnel railway connection (Channel Fixed Link) between continental Europe and the United Kingdom after the end of the Brexit transition period. This legislation would allow the same legal regime to continue to apply to all rail issues within the geographic scope of the Channel Tunnel concession, including the section under UK jurisdiction, and it would also allow a single safety authority to be maintained to oversee the application of the rules.
All matters concerning the operation of the Channel Fixed Link are supervised by an intergovernmental commission established by the Treaty of Canterbury, signed by France and the UK in 1986.
The legislation adopted yesterday consists of a regulation amending the EU railway safety and interoperability rules and a decision empowering France to negotiate, sign and conclude an amendment to the Canterbury Treaty so that the intergovernmental commission can be maintained as the competent safety authority for the application of EU law within the Channel Fixed Link.
The Council adopted the decision and the regulation by written procedure. The European Parliament voted on the legislation on 8 October 2020, and its position reflected what had previously been agreed between the institutions.
The legal acts are expected to be signed by both institutions in the margins of the Parliament's plenary session next week and to be published in the EU Official Journal on 22 October.
- Decision empowering France to negotiate an agreement supplementing its existing bilateral treaty with the United Kingdom concerning the construction and operation by private concessionaires of a Channel Fixed Link
- Regulation amending directive 2016/798 as regards the application of railway safety and interoperability rules within the Channel Fixed Link
- EU-UK negotiations on the future relationship (background information)
- EU rail interoperability and safety (European Commission)
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