UK Government prepares for Brexit negotiations

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed March 23, 2017 17:45

UK Government prepares for Brexit negotiations

The UK Government will trigger Article 50 on March 29 setting off the series of negotiations that will dictate the terms for the UK’s exit from the European Union. The House of Lords has released a new Brexit report, Brexit: trade in non-financial services, focuses on trade in non-financial services, including air services, which concludes that a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU is needed. For air services, which is not covered by World Trade Organization rules or other free trade agreements, a deal is essential for services to continue unimpeded. Dr Barry Humphreys CBE, founder of BKH Aviation, recommended to the committee that the UK should pursue a deal that is as close to the status quo as possible, which means assessing the possible models suggested by IATA to see how close they come to the current environment. These models include: membership of the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA); a comprehensive bilateral air services agreement between the UK and the EU; or reliance, in the  absence  of  any  other  agreement,  upon  pre-existing bilateral aviation agreements. The report goes into detail on the pros and cons of each of those three options.

The Committee concludes that, in negotiating a UK-EU FTA, the UK Government should pursue a deal where UK airlines should be able to fly to any point within the EU and provide intra-EU services, either through full voting membership of the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA), or by means of a comprehensive UK-EU air services agreement. This will allow UK airlines to continue to offer the routes they fly today.

Meanwhile, the European aviation industry has issued a joint declaration to all 27 EU Member States calling on them to preserve, reform and strengthen the EU, specifically to ensure the continuation of the Single Aviation Market. The declaration is a bid to remind the EU of the benefits of the Single Aviation Market since its creation in the 1990s, which removed regulatory and market barriers and created a fully integrated market for aviation, based on common rules across the EU and beyond. “This has been instrumental in increasingly connectivity and prosperity – as it provided greater access to markets and lowered prices for air travel and air freight services,” reads the declaration. “In view of the important role and value that the Single Aviation Market plays in the economic development and social cohesion of the EU, stakeholders from across the entire spectrum of aviation today make this united declaration, with one exclusive purpose – to stand up for the European Union.”

“As businesses and together with our employees, we cannot afford to lose the freedom, legal certainty, connectivity and prosperity enabled by the Single Aviation Market. We are mindful that these essential benefits are intrinsically linked to the wider political endeavours and dynamics of the EU. This is why we are calling on Member States to preserve, reform and strengthen the EU.”

The nine associations behind this initiative represent the aerospace industry, airlines, airports, business aviation, helicopter operators, air navigation service providers and trade unions.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed March 23, 2017 17:45