The UK Government has issued a more detailed description of the consequences of a no-agreement Brexit if it were take place on March 29th 2019.
The issues are much as before and yet are more elaborately described.
- Trans-Atlantic and non European flights will be little affected as the UK is a member of Eurocontrol for air traffic management which is not an EU institution, and expects to maintain existing non-EU travel agreements. Those to the US and Canada are expected to be resolved well before Brexit occurs.
- Even if there is a reciprocal ‘bare bones’ agreement that hasn’t bee fully worked out to permit flights to and from the EU, passengers can expect delays and inconvenience. this will be especially true for transit customers to the UK and UK passengers transiting in EU airports, if security standards are not mutually recognised for screening luggage and passengers. This would seem mildly ridiculous as the UK standards are seen by the EU as even higher than their own.
- The entire aircraft parts and maintenance/engineering certification process would end. The repercussions for where aircraft can fly, be maintained and who can maintain them and still let them fly in either the UK or EU, basically collapses. The implications are dire and complex. For around two years some certificates will still be valid, but there is a possibility they will end if the EU took a hard line and the UK refused to recognise EASA certificates.
- Ownership of airlines should be no issue for the UK, as it will maintain existing law in the EU Withdrawal Act, the EU may of course change its policy, but there are already issues that would prevent certain people from certain countries owning shares in cross-border UK-EU airlines. However these are relatively minor issues.
- Crew: Pilots, Cabin staff – these licences will not be recognised by either party with no deal, EASA pilots will not be allowed to fly in the UK and vice-versa, with the same applying to cabin staff. This is one of the most seriously contentious points and would complicate issues massively for both sides.
- Cargo – the UK has recognised 141 different Air Cargo importer/exporters which are recognised by the EU. These recognitions would end in the EU, causing severe disruption to Air Cargo operations across the EU and UK.
The fact remains that it would be madness to allow things to reach these levels. Two weeks after the UK leaves the EU is one of the busiest European and UK holiday weeks of the year with the annual Easter holidays, and would threaten hundreds of thousands of ordinary peoples plans. Three weeks after that major EU and UK holidays happen two to three times in May, gain with dire consequences for air travel over busy periods as summer ramps up.
We’re told that it will all be resolved, most likely before the end of 2018, but while there may be an agreement, there is no guarantee that British politicians will vote in favour of it – and that’s true across all parties. Many would rather go without and ruin peoples lives for their own selfish gains.