This week my travels took me on a low-cost Ryanair flight from Stansted to Cologne on the banks of the Rhine. Back in the 1990s, I was involved in the European validation of the generation of the Boeing 737s that the Irish airline uses. So, it’s interesting for me to fly on, what is now the most popular civil aeroplane in passenger service. Overall, when comparing the passenger experience on what was an internal European flight with my experience of an internal US flight last week, I’d give Ryanair points of praise. That’s despite the delayed return flight that was put down to air traffic control and the aircraft carrier like landings.
Viewed from mainland Europe the notion that Britain should flirt with a “no deal” Brexit isn’t credible. To risk a whole Country’s wellbeing seeking highly speculative benefits and potentially big costs is beyond what sober, sensible and democratic Governments do. So, many people I have spoken too remain mystified by the state of play of the Brexit negotiations. Why go for a lose-lose situation when a win-win is the best outcome?
Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, it’s clear that the lives of UK nationals residing in, and travelling to and from, and inside the European Union (EU) are going to be complex.
To get over this, there’s been an increase in the number of people acquiring the citizenship of other EU Countries. One of the most popular nationalities is German. I know of Brits who are going through the process, language training and all, and mean to see it through.
Life becomes complex. There’s a bit of that when it comes to the immigration ques at airport passport control. Will UK nationals follow the signs with the EU flag and Swiss flag anymore?
Also, I was reminded on the difficulties Americans have using their US driving licences in Germany. Will Brits undergo the need to take a German driving test if they stay for a while?
Currently, we await the Government’s Brexit White Paper. One can only hope that the coming days will provide a degree of clarity and unity. Whitehall will do what it can with an almost impossible task. So, the words on the page might be “imaginative” to say the least.
However, we have seen meltdowns of UK Governments before and so that maybe on the cards too. It was Thatcher’s Poll Tax that threw a huge spanner in the works the last time we saw a complete reversal policy. The late 80s and early 90s were good times for me but the British political landscape was shifting, and the old guard was being replaced. It’s likely we in a similar period.