It is not yet clear whether an agreement will be reached before 29 March 2019, the day on which the United Kingdom (UK) leaves the European Union. In the event of what is known as a no-deal Brexit, there will be major consequences, including for the transport sector. Emergency scenarios have been devised to deal with the negative consequences as far as possible.
The European Commission has proposed a regulation in order to guarantee air transport and air safety. This is a once-only, temporary solution until 30 March 2020 at the latest.
The proposal envisages the unilateral granting of traffic rights to airlines from the UK to enable them to fly over the territory of the Union and to land for technical purposes. Flights must also be possible on direct routes between the territories of the UK and the EU.
In addition, the Commission proposes a mechanism for ensuring that the rights enjoyed by airlines from the EU in the UK remain the same as the rights granted to airlines from the UK. Finally, the Commission proposes a system to ensure that airlines from the EU gain fair and equal opportunities to compete with airlines from the UK.
For road transport, the European Commission also presented a proposal in December 2018 for an arrangement to mitigate the most extreme consequences of Brexit. This arrangement will apply until 31 December 2019 at the latest.
Hauliers from the UK can run their services between the UK and the EU on the condition that they are in possession of a licence. In addition, they must abide by valid European regulations concerning social conditions and traffic safety. It will not be permitted for hauliers from the UK to transport goods or passengers between two places within the same EU country.
Port of Rotterdam
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, there will be an external EU border at the port of Rotterdam. This means that different, stricter Customs formalities will be applied, resulting in longer waiting times for freight trucks. Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management) is working on plans to limit inconvenience and prevent blockages. Others are also working hard on measures to limit inconvenience to a minimum.