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House of Lords Hansard
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Railway (Licensing of Railway Undertakings) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
21 March 2019
Volume 796

Motion to Approve

Moved by

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That the draft Regulations laid before the House on 25 February be approved.

Relevant document: 17th Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee (Sub-Committee A).

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My Lords, in moving the regulations I will also speak to the Train Driving Licences and Certificates (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. These regulations are being made under the powers conferred by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and will be needed in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The regulations fix deficiencies in two sets of domestic railway regulations and EU implementing legislation: the Train Driving Licences and Certificates Regulations 2010, the TDL regulations; and the Railway (Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2005, the operator regulations.

As part of the measures aimed at liberalising rail markets, the EU introduced standard documentation for train driving licences and rail operator licences. These documents are valid across the European Economic Area. The Office of Rail and Road—the ORR—is responsible for issuing train driving and operator licences in the UK. Subject to meeting certain criteria, such as medical and competence requirements, the ORR will issue a train driving licence valid for up to 10 years. Train drivers also need a certificate, issued by the operator, confirming that the driver is competent to drive a certain type of train on the infrastructure. Operator licences are issued subject to the operator meeting certain conditions, including financial fitness and having necessary insurance cover. In Northern Ireland the Department for Infrastructure is the licensing authority.

The Train Driving Licences and Certificates (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations amend the TDL regulations and three pieces of EU implementing legislation. The regulations will ensure that the train driving legislation will continue to function after exit day by making a number of technical changes. They remove reporting requirements to the Commission, references to member states and functions reserved for the EU Commission and the European Union Agency for Railways. The regulations also amend the definition of a “train driving licence” so it refers only to ORR-issued train driving licences. In addition, changes are needed to ensure that licences issued in Northern Ireland are valid for use in Great Britain and to make corrections to the EU implementing legislation that applies to both GB and NI.

The Railway (Licensing of Railway Undertakings) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations make similar technical corrections, removing references to member states and replacing references to EU legislation with references to domestic legislation. The most significant amendment is to rename the “European licence” as a “railway undertaking licence”, though the cost, criteria and processes for obtaining a licence will not change. The draft regulations also revoke implementing regulation 2015/171. This EU regulation sets out a standard template for the form of an operator licence and details on the procedure of applying for a licence. These will not be required post exit as this detail is already incorporated into the ORR’s procedures, which are published on its website in accordance with the operator regulations.

Both sets of regulations also make transitional provisions that recognise existing European documentation, issued in EEA states, for a maximum of two years after exit day or until it expires, whichever is the sooner. In short, existing train drivers and operators providing services in Great Britain will not have to take any immediate action if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, regardless of where their documents were issued. There are a small number of drivers in the EU using ORR-issued licences, which will not be automatically recognised in a no-deal scenario. Departmental officials have worked with the regulator and operators to ensure that these drivers are aware of the need to obtain an EU licence. There are also UK operators providing services in the EU. All these operators already have licences issued in the country they are providing services in, so will be unaffected.

These draft regulations support the smooth continuation of cross-border services, such as Eurostar, by ensuring that EU-licensed train drivers engaged in cross-border services will continue to be able to operate in the UK. The Government are actively engaging with a range of European counterparts, including relevant member states, to secure bilateral agreements for cross-border rail services. These discussions include arrangements for longer-term recognition of train driver licences and operator licences. Bilateral discussions are progressing well, and we are confident of having measures in place in time for exit day.

By removing certain administrative requirements, the draft operator regulations technically widen the scope of who can be charged an application fee by the ORR for an operator licence and of who could be captured by the existing criminal offence of driving or operating on the railway without an appropriate licence. Consequently, these draft regulations are subject to the affirmative procedure. In Northern Ireland, the role of issuing these licences falls to the Department for Infrastructure and a separate instrument is being taken forward on behalf of Northern Ireland.

We have worked closely with the ORR and have engaged with industry to provide as much certainty as possible. The regulations are an important part of our no deal preparations, providing clarity for business and certainty for drivers. I beg to move.

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My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for bringing these regulations to the attention of the House. We have only got a week to go, and if we do not pass them today there may not be any trains running after 29 March—so well done the Department for Transport for leaving it to the last minute.

I have a couple of questions on both SIs. On the licensing of railway undertakings regulations—this is not clear to me and maybe this is not part of these regulations—I was talking to a train operator, from a UK company which has a licence in this country and also operates railway services in other member states, who explained that the company was having trouble in finding out whether its UK licence, in other words its licence to operate in the UK, would be valid in other member states after Brexit. Such companies try hard, often in competition with other incumbents, and it is a strain on their business and management set-ups if they still do not know whether they will be able to operate, either under a new franchise or in continuation of an existing one, after next week. I note that in paragraph 7.3 of the Explanatory Memorandum, as the Minister said in her introduction, there is a two-year window for these licences to continue. However, I am not sure whether that occurs in the other direction, and I would be grateful if she could respond to that.

I have two issues on the train driving licences and certificates regulations. Will UK drivers operating in France, the Channel Tunnel or other member states need to take driving tests in France and, if so, when? Is there a two-year window or when will it happen? This concerns not only Eurostar because in the future there might be other companies operating services through the tunnel, as well as rail freight. I declare an interest as having been chairman of the Rail Freight Group. These regulations add a great deal of bureaucracy, and I would be glad to hear what arrangements will be required for drivers with licences from other member states to come here. Is there a two-year window there?

My second comment relates to paragraph 7.8 of the Explanatory Memorandum. This SI removes the duty to inform the Commission on licences and safety matters and, presumably, vice versa. The statement that we do not need to tell the Commission anymore and it does not need to tell us is putting our head in the sand about anything to do with railway safety. Railways are rule-based operations and the more common rules we have the easier it goes. The transfer of information on safety, accidents, driver qualifications and so on, in the widest possible sense, is surely good for the safe operation of our railways. The text of paragraph 7.8 and elsewhere is drafted in a very negative way. Even if there is not a requirement—I think there should be—to exchange data, I hope the Minister will say that the ORR and the European Railway Agency should be encouraged to exchange data and participate in putting it together in common, European co-ordinated, long-term information about the safety performance of railways over the years. I look forward to the Minister’s response.

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My Lords, the House will be grateful to my noble friend for tabling this Motion to Regret—

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We have not quite got to the Motion to Regret yet. We are starting with the two SIs.

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My Lords, I strongly support what my noble friend Lord Berkeley said. I feel very passionately on this subject. First, one of the great things we have seen in the past two decades is the expansion of cross-border rail services. It is important for freight, where in the long term we want to try to take as much lorry traffic off the roads as possible, and it is also very important for expanding passenger networks across Europe and providing a real alternative to air travel, which has damaging effects on climate. I understand my noble friend’s concerns about why we are not promoting the maximum exchange of information and co-operation with our European partners in the event of Brexit.

Secondly, I would like assurances about rail services on the island of Ireland. This is very important to good relations between Britain and Ireland. The development of railways on the island of Ireland is a way of encouraging tourism in north and south. I would like to hear from the Minister that nothing is being done that will in any way be a barrier to the development of that co-operation.

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My Lords, having left the station before the right of way signal, perhaps I can start again and apologise to the House for—mixing my metaphors—jumping the gun. On this occasion, I shall confine my remarks to the train driving regulations and will discuss the other matter later. I presume I will be in order, which will stop my noble friend on the Front Bench again waving at me in a somewhat frantic fashion.

As my noble friend Lord Berkeley says, I do not think we are getting clarification on these matters. I suspect confusion is likely to arise, depending on how these regulations are implemented. Irish railways have been mentioned. Can the Minister say whether the new licences to be issued for Northern Ireland will be specific to that part of the United Kingdom or be valid throughout the United Kingdom and whether they will be recognised on, for example, the Enterprise service between Belfast and Dublin? What discussions have taken place between our Government and the Irish Government about the future of that service?

How long will the new licences last? My noble friend mentioned a two-year interim period, but what happens after that? A lot of discussions need to take place as a result of this wretched decision that the Prime Minister is apparently going to insist upon. Whether she gets it through the other place remains to be seen.

How much discussion has there been about the long-term effect of this change? After all, train drivers are no longer required to retire by law, but they normally stop train driving in their 60s and many of them will have been driving for a considerable period. Will these licences need to be renewed on a regular basis?

Overall, this is another example of the bureaucracy that will be created as a result of this decision. Perhaps the Minister can tell us how many people in her department will have to be employed to issue the licences and check their validity. Perhaps she can also tell us whether the standards that are now commonplace across Europe will continue to be commonplace in the United Kingdom or whether, at the whim of this or some other Secretary of State, the conditions under which the licences are issued will be altered? These are all matters that result directly from the, in my view, disastrous decision that we are about to take.

I will return to the other regulations at a proper time. They will possibly be even more likely to dislocate the railway industry than these regulations. However, there are still some outstanding questions about the licences, and I would be grateful if the Minister could at least take on board our fears and reassure us.

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My Lords, I have sat through a number of transport statutory instruments which have been brought forward in the event that there is no deal—something that none of us wants or expects to happen. There have been dozens and dozens of them in Grand Committee and on the Floor of the House. The noble Baroness, Lady Sugg, has spent a lot of her valuable time on them, and we have five officials in the Box—excellent, qualified people—who have been working hard on them. This total waste of time and effort has been caused by the Prime Minister. One of my noble friends said to me earlier that it is not the men in grey suits that need to turn up to deal with what is happening in 10 Downing Street but the men in white coats. I am grateful to him for suggesting that to me. Can the Minister give us an estimate of the time and cost involved in dealing with all these unnecessary statutory instruments?

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My Lords, I would like to register the concern and disappointment that is also felt on these Benches at people having to apply to drive trains, cars, buses or whatever else across the EU when the UK has led the charge in unifying standards and bringing the countries together. Perhaps I may ask one question. My noble friend mentioned that a small number of drivers have not yet achieved the qualification to drive in the EU if we leave with no deal. Can she tell the House how many drivers are in that situation and what efforts are being made in that regard? She noted that some efforts are being made to inform them about what to do and what the implications might be for those who do not have those qualifications.

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My Lords, I will start with the licensing of railway undertakings regulations. This SI is slightly more like the type of arrangement that we were promised at the start of this gruelling marathon. It is intended to ensure the minimum change.

Currently, there are two sorts of licence in Britain. One is issued by the ORR to a small number of operators, such as Merseyrail, that are separate from the main network, and it is based on 1993 rules. The rest of the operators have a European licence based on 2005 regulations. If you hold one of those, you can provide services in any EEA member state. This is all part of the European programme to establish a single European railway area. That is a very sensible approach that will be a basis for equal access, competition and common rules on safety, which is very important.

This SI allows operators with a licence not issued by ORR to continue for two years after exit day, whenever that may be. Will the Minister clarify that this is a rolling feast—that it will be two years after an exit day on, for example, 22 June? That would be sensible, but I am concerned that the rules on continuity in these SIs are so haphazard: some things finish in September, some finish in December, some continue for two years from whenever we leave, and so on.

After two years, under this SI, operators will need to revert to an ORR licence. The Explanatory Memorandum helpfully notes that only one operator is currently caught by that rule. Importantly, the SI does not provide for long-term mutual recognition of operator licences issued by the EEA and held by cross-border service operators—that is, the Channel Tunnel. Mutual recognition will depend on future bilateral agreements. Can the Minister update us on negotiations on this aspect?

Eventually, after two years, the only type of licence that will be valid in Britain will be issued by ORR. Existing European licences will cease to be valid and operators will instead need railway undertakings licences. Once again, this is a long, tortuous, bureaucratic process to change the name of the licence.

Finally on this SI, I express my delight that there has been a full consultation, which has been reported back to this House in detail, as consultations should be. It was comprehensive in that it included passengers, freight operators, devolved Administrations and so on, and a draft instrument was produced. It is ironic that this SI will involve minor disruption for a relatively small number of large organisations which to some extent are equipped to cope with it. While we have had a full consultation for this SI, in the case of others that involve major changes for people who are not equipped to deal with them, we were told that they did not get a consultation because the changes were not considered significant or to pose a risk. The truth is that this Government are getting away with a massive distortion of the normal rules followed by Governments; ignoring the consultation process is one aspect of that.

I turn now to the train driving licences and certificates SI, which affects thousands of train drivers, as opposed to a handful of companies. While a full consultation has been done on the previous SI, this one apparently is not important enough to warrant one. In the Explanatory Memorandum there is a list of organisations that attended a workshop, but there is no mention of trade unions. Trade unions are very strong and active in the rail industry and a very important group of people. Were they consulted and, if so, what did they think about these changes? If they were not, do the Government have any intention of having discussions with them?

In 2010, the EU regulations established a standardised regime for the licensing and certification of train drivers, with a standardised layout of licences and certificates, which of course is important to avoid confusion about what documents can be accepted. It includes, for example, what rolling stock they are qualified to drive. I cannot stress enough how important it is that there is clarity on qualifications and certification. That is really important for safety. I have a good friend who is a train driver, and he has explained to me at some length the difference between the levels of qualification and how important those differences are for our safety. Standardised criteria for training and examinations are obviously as important as, if not more important than, in many other professions.

In 2015 the regulations created a new standard for language and eyesight tests. Everyone can realise the importance of that. Facility with the language is as important for train drivers as it is for the medical profession, for example, and eyesight is extremely important.

Sensibly, this SI includes a transitional provision for the recognition of European licences in Britain for up to two years. Can the Minister clarify why the phrase “up to two years” is repeatedly used in the Explanatory Memorandum? Is that because the two years is measured from the end of March and we may not leave then? Or is it because the Government have not fully decided what the end of this story is going to be? I am sure that the Minister will understand that knowing exactly how long your licence is going to last is pretty important for those engaged in the profession—and indeed for the people who employ them.

Paragraph 2.11 of the EM says that only,

“a small number of train drivers”,

use European licences. Perhaps the Minister could clarify how many “a small number” is.

I have a real concern about paragraph 2.13, on the removal of requirements to inform the EEA safety authorities if a driver is not meeting the conditions of a licence. There is a discretionary power included for passing information for a transitional two-year period, but there is no obligation. This is something that I have raised time and again: the transfer and sharing of information are at the core of safety procedures, and yet again this Government are playing politics with the safety of our transport system.

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My Lords, this is about my 60th SI, so I am into some SI fatigue. Previously I have started by saying how much I regret being here because of the Government’s failure to rule out a no-deal Brexit. Unfortunately, the world has changed. If nobody blinks, our no-deal exit is next Saturday and these rules will come in. I therefore have to disagree with my noble friend Lord Foulkes: I think we do have to do this work, for the worst possible reason—because we are in the worst possible place. Brexit itself is bad enough, but the Brexit that is going to be thrust upon us unless sanity reigns—

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Will my noble friend give way? I am going to agree with him: we have to do this. I just regret that we are having to do it because the Prime Minister has taken such a stubborn attitude. If she had understood the position and realised the strength of feeling earlier, we would not now be in the situation of facing the possibility of no deal at the end of next week. I hope that we do not have no deal, but I understand why we are having to do this. I just think that it is a terrible waste of the Minister’s time and staff time, and it would have been completely unnecessary if the Prime Minister had made a sensible decision.

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I am glad the noble Lord agrees with me that, unfortunately, it is now a necessity.

Turning to the two instruments, first, I agree with virtually everybody who has spoken—including my noble friends Lord Berkeley and Lord Snape, and the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson—that the ongoing exchange of information should be a long-term aspiration, even in the silliest position we might find ourselves in. Can the Government come out and say that it will be a long-term aspiration in the rail industry? Exchange of information in the transport sector is one of the key factors necessary to achieve the levels of safety we have come to expect.

I went through the Explanatory Memorandum in some detail. On the first SI, I have a detailed question that I am quite happy to receive a letter on. In paragraph 7.7, it says that:

“The instrument intentionally does not make the necessary consequential amendments”,

to a number of regulations, which it then goes on to describe. Could the Minister explain why the instrument does not make the consequential amendments? When will they be made, and by whom?

There are other references, but the area I would like the Minister to expand on in some detail is the whole situation of the Channel Tunnel. How will it be legal for UK drivers to drive through the tunnel and then on to Brussels, Paris and, I hope, other destinations in Europe, as my noble friend Lord Berkeley pointed out? Is that flexibility already allowed for through other treaties, or will it require further bilateral agreements?

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I thank noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations. I agree with all noble Lords that sharing information is very important, not least because of safety. There will still be a power, rather than a duty, to share information on train driving licences with other member states. That will enable mutual sharing arrangements to be put in place. It is our long-term aspiration to continue to share that information.

On numbers of driving licences, the vast majority of people driving trains in the UK have an ORR-issued licence. There are around 250 drivers in the UK who have licences issued under the EEA. Those licences will be recognised for up to two years. In answer to the point from the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, it is up to two years because they may expire before then. If they do, they will need to be replaced. That two years is from exit day, which is currently defined as 29 March, but if that definition changes, it will be two years on from that.

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Going back to the Minister’s last comment about sharing information, paragraph 7.8 of the Explanatory Memorandum on train driving licences says:

“The duty to inform EEA safety authorities will be replaced by a discretionary power to provide such information for the two-year period during which European licences continue to be recognised, and then will cease altogether”.

That is not quite the same. I understand what she says about wanting to continue to share information, but that does not appear to be the intent of this document.

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I presume that that is the case because we have the two-year implementation period and our future relationship will be subject to negotiations. As I said, our long-term aspiration is to share that information. We think a legal duty is inappropriate, because another authority might refuse to receive information or co-operate, so we would not be able to fulfil that duty.

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Can my noble friend imagine any circumstances whatever in which the British Government would not want to share such information with our neighbours? Why on earth are we talking about negotiation? Of course we will do that and of course they will want to do that with us. What are we talking about?

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As I said previously, it is absolutely our intention to continue to share information. It is important that we do so, not least because of safety. We will continue to have a very close relationship with our European neighbours, and we very much hope to share the information with them. Obviously, they will have to accept that information from us, but our long-term aspiration is to continue to share it.

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I know my noble friend is in a difficult position, but it is rather difficult for the House when the SI we are considering says that the exchange of information will cease altogether after the two-year period. I share the concerns expressed by my noble friend Lord Deben.

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I hope that I am able to provide further reassurance that we wish to continue to share information with our neighbours. Obviously, the exact format of that and how we do it will be subject to our future relationship.

On the number of licensed operators, there are 250 drivers in the UK. We are confident that they will relicense with the ORR within the next two years. We notified the industry of this requirement in 2017. Train operators would normally do this on behalf of their drivers in almost every case.

A small number of drivers are using ORR-issued licences in the EU. These will not be recognised in a no-deal scenario, but we have worked with the regulator and operators to ensure that those drivers are aware of the need to obtain an EU licence. I am sorry that the driver who the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, spoke to was not aware of that. If I can get some more information on that, perhaps we can get in contact with them and make sure they are aware.

Following engagement with operators, we are confident that they are aware of everything that they need to do. The technical notices that we published back in October set out the position. We are confident that all relevant operators will have relicensed their train drivers before exit.

A number of noble Lords mentioned the Channel Tunnel. Under EU law, Eurotunnel, as an operator of the shuttle service, is not required to hold and operate a licence. It is a unique cross-border operation and is therefore unaffected by the operator licensing provisions. Eurotunnel engages both UK and French-licensed train drivers to operate its shuttle services. Its ORR-licensed train drivers will be unaffected by these regulations. The Government are working closely with European counterparts, including France, on bilateral arrangements for train drivers operating the freight service and the shuttle service through the Channel Tunnel. The intention is to ensure that the current licensing arrangements are maintained, meaning that Eurotunnel can continue to engage both UK and EU-licensed train drivers in its shuttle operation.

We are also supporting operators with contingency plans. We strongly support the EU’s proposed contingency measures on rail, which will help mitigate any disruption to Eurotunnel shuttle services regarding train driving licences and provide more time for the bilateral arrangements which we expect to be put in place.

The draft regulations from the EU cover UK-issued licences, certificates and authorisations, remaining valid for cross-border rail services for nine months from the date of exit. That will cover both Channel Tunnel services and cross-border services on the island of Ireland. COREPER endorsed this on 20 March. The proposal is expected to be adopted by written procedure tomorrow by the Council of Ministers, and we expect it to take effect early next week. We strongly support those contingency measures. Our future arrangements may well be bilateral, but that nine-month period gives us enough time to get them into place.

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I am sure everything the Minister says is accurate and that if I understood the treaty I would understand what she said, but can we translate it into practical terms? By Eurostar services, I assume that she means those to Brussels and Paris—and some intermediate stops which I cannot remember. I think she is telling the House that, on Saturday week, those services will be able to run; and I think she said that the shuttle service would be able to run. But say somebody wants to start a service—as people do aspire to—from London to Milan; is there a bilateral agreement that will allow that to happen or is it one of the many that would have to be negotiated? What if we start running a wider variety of services through the tunnel, such as London to Milan or London to Lyons, through France and into a third country?

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The regulation refers to services that are currently running, which will not be affected on day one or after. New services will be subject to separate authorisation and agreements. We hope that our future bilateral arrangements with member states would allow those new services to function, but, at the moment, the proposed regulations cover existing ones.

On the island of Ireland, the draft regulations make provision for licensing arrangements in Great Britain, with the exception of technical corrections to EU-implemented legislation with effect in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A separate instrument is being taken forward on behalf of Northern Ireland. As with Channel Tunnel services, the UK is engaging very closely with Irish authorities, as well as with the operators of the Enterprise service, to make sure that appropriate arrangements are in place to see the continued smooth function of that service in the event of no deal. Licences issued by Northern Ireland will be valid in the UK and the draft EU regulation will support the smooth running of cross-border services, so that there will be no disruption there.

The Government are, of course, committed to maintaining high safety standards on our railways. We will probably come on to this in our next debate, on future divergence, but we are clear that we will continue to fully engage with industry to look at the impacts—particularly the safety, commercial and cost impacts—of future changes in our railways.

There was a full consultation on operator licences, as part of the consultation on implementing the market pillar directive of the fourth railway package in the UK. The noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, rightly pointed out that we had a workshop on train driving licences. Unions were invited to attend, but I do not believe that they did. However, there has been extensive engagement between cross-border operators and the unions on arrangements for the licensing of their drivers in the event of no deal. As I have said before, the vast majority of drivers in the UK will be unaffected by this. The Secretary of State has also written to the general secretary of the ASLEF union, outlining our preparations and the actions that industry should be taking in advance of 29 March.

There will be no substantive increase in the ORR’s workload as a consequence of this. On exit day there will be no change to the validity of any existing licences being used. Currently, only one operator providing train services in Great Britain is using a licence issued by an EU member state. After two years, that operator will need to apply to the ORR, but there is no further burden on their resources.

I hope that I have answered noble Lords’ questions—

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The noble Baroness has accepted that bilateral negotiations will be necessary in order to extend services through the tunnel to other destinations. Have these started? Is there clarity on who to talk to? Have there been any informal discussions to give us some optimism that there will be favourable outcomes?

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Bilateral conversations have indeed started. They have not yet been finalised; we would have been able to finalise an agreement in time for exit day had the EU regulations not come into force. I am not entirely sure whether future services are part of those conversations, but we very much hope we can ensure they can happen after we leave the European Union. We are working very closely with all our European counterparts, including France, regarding bilateral arrangements on licensing and certification, the existing international rail freight services, and passenger services. Given the EU regulations, we are confident of mitigating the disruption to those services. As I say, we are also working very closely with the rail operators to make sure they are prepared and hold valid EU licences where they need them and certificates to continue operating in the EU in the event of no deal.

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My Lords, I was hoping that the Minister would answer my question and give me some indication of how much of her very valuable time she spent dealing with what my noble friend has now disclosed was 90 statutory instruments, and how many officials in the department have been occupied in this task, which might well not have been necessary.

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I fear that I have done only nearly 40 statutory instruments in this Chamber or in the Moses Room. The noble Lord has the happy responsibility of covering more than one department, unlike myself. But I agree with the noble Lord that it has taken up a significant amount of my time, my department’s time and officials’ time. I am not able to quantify exactly how many hours that has been. We are hopeful of reaching agreement with the EU, so that we will not need these no-deal SIs. However, until it is agreed by the European Union and the date of our exit is changed by both Houses of Parliament, we will need to continue to put these in place—they are necessary.

These draft regulations will ensure that our train driver and operator licensing system continues to function effectively when we leave the EU. Maintaining the status quo as regards the requirements and duties placed on train drivers and operators is necessary to ensure that the licensing regime remains robust. These SIs deliver the Government’s objective of maintaining the status quo, avoiding uncertainty for train drivers and operators in respect of train driving licensing and certification and operator licensing. I think I have answered most questions, and I will write to the noble Lord on paragraph 7.7. I commend the regulations to the House.

Motion agreed.