One of the great flaws of the UK’s Brexit is that it doesn’t seem to have a direction, if you put aside relentless uncertainty, that is. What I mean is that there’s no high-level strategy that has been articulated by anyone with the power to implement it. The results of #Brexit might just as likely be Labour’s socialist utopia as it might be a version of Conservatives for Trump. Or even, more liklely a messy mish mash of lurching from political left to right in a purely reactive manner.
Often the UK has struggled with need to have a long-term vision. One aspect of membership of the European Union (EU) has been that it has provided stability and a general sense of direction. That has been a good compensation for the volatility of the day-to-day that keeps the media full of political stories in the UK.
That stability has been particularly true for Aviation and Aeronautics in Europe. These are businesses that need a long-term strategy because of the commitment and time it takes to go from research innovation to in-service maturity of a product. To succeed, civil aviation needs rules and regulations that are consistent, internationally compatible and that work.
On 5th December, there’s an #EU Aeronautics Conference taking place at the European Parliament @Europarl_EN. One of the speakers will be Tom Enders, the outgoing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of @Airbus. It certainly will be fascinating to hear of his reflections from his time in office. This annual conference has been initiated by the European Parliament’s Sky and Space Intergroup (SSI). It attracts high-level decision-makers from the EU Institutions including the Parliament, the Commission and the Council and the EU Agencies. This year is fine, but I’m left wondering what the UK will do in future years if Brexit goes ahead.
There’s no doubt that innovation and investment are key part of any aviation strategy. Being at the table when such subjects are being discussed is surely a matter of some importance. I can’t think for one moment that the UK will not be interested in competitiveness, a level playing field, and sustainable and greener aviation. Not only that but the unstoppable drive of digitization will impact everyone in the air transport system. There’s also the issue of the need to maintain a skilled workforce and the shortages that limit development. None of these big issues are for one Country alone. In fact, no one Country alone can address them effectively and be confident of success.
It would be better if Brexit didn’t happen but if it goes ahead then the imperative must be to keep these important relationships working for the benefit of all Europeans. We will not have to wait much longer to know what deal maybe proposed but whatever it is it will not be as good as what we have now.