I’d like to congratulate the UK Civil Servants who have been set an impossible task. The stream of publications for UK nationals living in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March is impressive. Basically, they say the UK Government continues to negotiate Brexit even if that’s one sided. There’s a dose of reality in some of the statements, like: “The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.” There’s always a disclaimer asking the reader to note that the information provided is a guide only. There’s also a reassuring note that; in the event of changes to rules or processes after 29 March 2019, the UK Government will update this page as soon as information is available.
Now, there’s 57 days remaining on the clock. Informed analysis says that there’s no time left to be able to paper over all the cracks that will appear on Brexit day. UK MP’s are talking about putting in extra hours. Nevertheless, it would be extraordinary if all the topics that needed to be covered were covered in such a short time. There’s also UK MPs talking of “a technical extension” of Article 50, if a new deal can’t be legislated for in time. Nothing is fixed.
So, the reality is that we have one of the world’s mature democracies, influential States with a long history is heading into an abyss. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans have been chaotic and dysfunctional from day one. But there’s been plenty of time to make mistakes, learn from them and then put it right. Unfortunately, this has not been done, held back by political arrogance.
In the aviation industry one of the great successes over decades has been the ability to make mistakes, learn from them and then put it right. It’s one the reasons that flying is as safe as it is across the globe. A culture where people can honestly admit to error and sit down with their colleagues to fix problems is an advanced one. In the long-term, this approach works to the benefit of everyone concerned. In aviation, those who are looking for partnerships and business opportunities value stability, a level playing field and the rule of law.
Back in 2016, some campaigners said – not a single job – would be lost due to Brexit. That statement, and many like it, now appear extremely foolish and dishonest. To date, the UK’s referendum has delivered nothing to the advantage of UK citizens. In a graphic illustration of how strangely ridiculous the situation has become, this TV clip from the BBC’s News at Six showing archive footage of Second World War aircraft, joke or not, is in bad taste to say the least.