International Policy and Engagement Group
Chair: Steve Davey (Network Rail)
RDG Lead: Robert Girgis
The purpose of International Strategy is to build the reputation and credibility of the British railways overseas enabling us to influence policy and maximise international business opportunities for the rail industry.
We focus on six workstreams to deliver our strategy:
- Business opportunities and development: Supporting ‘exporting’ and encouraging external investment in our market in line with our Brexit objectives.
- Promoting GB Rail: Promoting the successes of GB rail and private participation in the market, to gain credibility and support the opportunities associated with other countries moving towards a more liberalised sector where rail can grow its market share, deliver value and improve services for passenger and freight customers alike.
- Cross functional working: Working closely with other strategic boards in RDG, and with our members to provide the best service we can.
- Influencing policy: Influencing European and international policy where necessary in particular with regards to Brexit. This is minimise risk and maximise opportunities associated with international policy.
- Thought leadership: Developing interesting policy positions and provoking debate.
- Learning, benchmarking and exchanging best practice: Bringing international experience to domestic policy making through international trade association membership, engagement with European Commission Platforms, overseas visits and hosting delegations.
These workstreams touch on a number of different topics and policy areas, particularly in our interaction with Brussels. These include, but are not limited to: accessibility requirements for people with reduced mobility; market liberalisation; technical interoperability standards; rules on access charges; and passenger rights.
RDG is working with its members, the government and stakeholders in Brussels to prepare for the UK leaving the EU and the impact this will have on the rail industry. As a sector that imports and exports both goods and services, moves people across borders and possesses mainland Britain’s only physical link to the Continent, getting Brexit right for the rail industry will also be a barometer for whether the deal will enable Britain to prosper in the decades ahead.
The good news is that one railway, working together, is well placed to deal with future challenges. Already, it is delivering improvements to the service it provides, making journeys better and in doing so supporting local communities.
Our railway is the backbone of the British economy. It employs around 240,000 people, moves 4.5 million people around Britain each day and 86 million tonnes of freight each year. It spreads wealth to every part of the country. If Brexit supports investment in this vital service, and enables rail manufacturers to prosper, the deal will put Britain on the right track in a post-Brexit world.