Now we have seen the consequences of a UK Government Minister misleading Parliament it’s time to take a Minister’s words seriously. Chris Grayling the Secretary of State for Transport recently answered an MP’s written question with these words:
“During the time-limited implementation period, the UK will no longer be an EU Member State. However, as set out in the terms of the agreement, common rules will remain in place. The EASA basic regulation will therefore continue to apply, so all UK-issued certificates, approvals and licences will be automatically recognised as valid in the EASA system (and vice versa). As the Prime Minister made clear in her speech last month, beyond the implementation period we will want to explore with the EU the terms on which we could remain part of the relevant agencies, such as EASA. This will form part of the negotiations with the EU and Member States on how best to continue cooperation in the field of aviation safety and standards post-exit.”
The concussion I draw from this is that there’s no need to cancel next year’s foreign holiday because it looks like business as usual, even if we (UK) have left the European Union.
To verify this conclusion, I had a look at the: “Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community” published a month ago. It’s not much help as there’s no specific mention of aviation or the EASA Basic Regulation (EC) No 216/2008. However, agreed, and thus coloured in green, is the statement in Article 122 that: “Union law shall be applicable to and in the United Kingdom during the transition period.”
So, until 31 December 2020, it’s like we (UK) have many of the obligations of a Member State but no so many rights. The UK will not participate in a European Parliament election in 2019.
What is unclear is the plan for the first day of 2021 and beyond. Yes, there’s an aspiration to continue to play a part in the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) but nothing much else. The need for common and proportionate safety standards will not go away. The European Union has brought benefits for both UK consumers and the aviation industry. Better to stay than go.