Scope of the inquiry
Leaving the EU could have a significant impact on transport between the UK and EU, potentially affecting rail and road connectivity, air space governance, and environmental targets linked to transport.
A recent report by the National Audit Office (NAO) found that the Department for Transport’s programme of work to support Brexit represents a large and complex challenge. It is estimated that by March 2020, up to £180 million will be spent by the Department and its associated agencies on Brexit.
To maintain and develop the current levels of transport connectivity between the UK and the EU, the Department has set up 18 work streams (out of 314 streams in total) tasked with delivering Brexit and reporting its progress on to the Department for Exiting the European Union. The NAO’s report notes that although significant effort has been put into helping the Government’s negotiation, the timeframe needed to introduce the required legislation is seriously compressed.
Additionally, between 100,000 and 7 million International Driving Permits (IDPs) will need to be issued annually by the Post Office in the event of no deal being reached with the EU. No business case and no detailed delivery plans, however, have been made.
The Committee will question the Department for Transport on the effectiveness of the 18 work streams, its level of preparedness in case of a no deal scenario, and the money it has spent on contingency preparations.
Members may also wish to hear an update about HS2 Ltd’s land and property acquisition programme, given that concerns were raised about this with the NAO both by individuals and businesses.