Joint Railway Debate

Wednesday 28th November 2008

"Mr. President,

The Commission's "interoperability" directive actually admits it is about, (quote) "enabling citizens of the Union to benefit from the full advantages deriving from the establishing of an area without frontiers." This vision is of course a burden to the UK because many of the EU population buy ONLY one way tickets.

I am pleased that isolated narrow-gauge and preserved railways will be exempt, but what about secondary rail routes? Presumably all this extra paperwork allows Luxembourgers, Latvians and Lithuanians to line up to run services from Long Eaton to Letchworth?

OK. I know it's mainly about Freight trains - "NON-STOP from Lisbon to Liverpool without changing locomotives or train CREWS" says the briefing. Some hope! What will the crew say about the Working Time Directive? Also it will be checked for illegal immigrants west of Folkestone! Current Portuguese locos would come off the track before the Channel Tunnel, as the rails in France are too narrow. Mr. President this train will stop.

The triumph of blind ideology over common sense makes this place into the paper mill that the United Kingdom have come to despise.

Have a nice day Mr. President, but first cure the tunnel vision."