The summer holidays are ending, and the prospect of autumn is all around. Fortunately, the summer weather continues, and the BBC PROMS have one more week to run. The House of Commons returns on Tuesday, 4 September. Already, UK MPs are lining up in front of the media with 101 opinions on where Mrs May is right, wrong, sad, mad and maybe the only game in town.
Where the political pendulum will settle is anyone’s guess. To give it a jolt there’s the Party conference season to come too. I’ll be down in Brighton this year.
In the statements coming from negotiations in Brussels, last week there’s some constructive and positive sounding words. The UK’s White Paper contains the recognition of the European Court of Justice as the ultimate arbiter of EU law. This sticks in the throats of Brexit fundamentalists. But it is pragmatic, as it’s the only way that 27 remaining EU Member States can be bound. This does open the door to the UK’s wish to remain a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Typically, several airlines release their late spring schedules for the following year in September. That task is going to be tricky this year given the uncertainty that continues as negotiations unfold. The schedule from 1st of April 2019 will likely mean that tickets sold will have terms and conditions saying this is subject to a new regulatory environment.
In my view the notion that UK airlines will be unable to fly into and out of the Europe is not plausible. There’s been a lot of sensationalist media coverage and some badly written papers about what is theoretically possible as a worst-case scenario. There may be fewer routes, higher costs and restrictions, but it’s overwhelmingly in the interest of both sides that flights continue post-Brexit. It’s clear that the EU is not going to ignore its own legal framework, but parties reciprocate when it’s in their interests to do so.
What my advice? Plan a good winter break somewhere in Europe. The days of cheap flights to unusual destinations maybe ebbing away. At least from us in the UK. It’s sad to see such a curtailment of freedom of movement. The blame lies firmly on the shoulders of a generation of unimaginative politicians.