Having just read Michel Barnier’s recent speech to the 28th Congress of the International Federation for European Law (FIDE) it suggests why Sunday’s news stories are centred around the doomsday scenario. There’s distinct possibility of a “no deal” scenario between UK and EU. A line in the speech stood out to me: “We do not want, and cannot, move from a community of law based on the supervision of the Court of Justice to a simple political dialogue”.
The “no deal” scenario would be to set aside the current legal framework for negotiations. It would be to turn future discussion between UK and EU into a volatile political tussle between a Country and its neighbouring trading block. It’s would be the diplomatic equivalent to arm wrestling or survival of the fittest. Such an outcome would assure many years of continuing uncertainty even if there wasn’t a collapse in several industries and a whole lot of pain for citizens.
As the departure date gets closer, the Hard Brexiters are incentivised to sabotage the negotiations to get what they want, namely UK crashes out, without a deal. At the same time as the above is in prospect, Ministers continue to emphases that Britain is open for business. Government continues to stress that they want and expects an exit deal with the EU.
In aviation, commentators can only speculate given the paucity of information in the public domain.
It’s interesting to read Professor Keith Hayward’s look at the legal, safety and regulatory “unknown, unknowns” on the countdown to the Brexit day. A former UK CAA colleague of mine has written a useful piece on the subject too.
What is clear is that beyond these shores more aviation people are getting more concerned. It’s not an act of ill-will to be prepared. In fact, the international obligations in place require preparedness.
For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is preparing to take on the surveillance of the large number of approved repair stations in the UK. Today, this work is addressed in the bilateral aviation agreement between US and EU. An international agreement that may not be valid in the UK on 1 April 2019.
There’s a real need for the UK Government to be more explicit about how the UK aviation industry will be regulated post-Brexit. Legal uncertainty is bad for business and for anyone who wants to fly.
At least over the next 4-days EU-UK negotiations are continuing (Tuesday, 5 June 2018 to Friday, 8 June 2018). The remaining issues with the Withdrawal Agreement are to be chewed over in Brussels. That includes; Northern Ireland/Ireland and the future EU-UK relationship. This is timely given the vote in the UK Parliament next week. That’s when the House of Commons will be compelled to consider all the House of Lords amendments to the draft EU Bill in just one sitting, with virtually no time for debate. All of which is not a recipe for success.