Belfast Telegraph

UK should take back control of railways post-Brexit, says union leader

Railways should be added to the Brexit list and taken back into public control, a union leader is urging.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said the Conservatives should be held to account for the "failures" of the UK rail industry to deliver for its passengers.

Speaking ahead of an appearance before the Transport Select Committee by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Mr Cortes said: "The questions Grayling should now answer are, why won't the the Tory Brexiteers let the British public take back control of our railway and why do they remain content for Britain to stay in Europe as it's major rail colony?

"Tory rail policy means even after they trigger Article 50, the UK will remain the highest passenger fare paying nation in Europe and our country will remain a goldmine of profit for the state-rail nations of Holland, Germany and France who operate huge swathes of UK rail industry.

"It's why our railways must now be added to the Brexit list and taken back into British public control."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "This Government is delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century, investing more than £38 billion in our network.

"The Government remains fully committed to delivering the important programme of rail franchising projects it has set out and we continue to welcome the interest of international partners in competing for future franchise contracts which will return billions to the taxpayer over their lifetime."