Travelling between the UK and Europe at some indeterminant future date? Planning your holiday for 2019? You may need to take a lot of extra steps before you travel. Both the EU and UK are taking measures to mitigate any severe disruption to air travel post-Brexit.
For EU registered airlines, EU law will continue to apply to flights to and from the EU. For passengers on a flight departing from the UK, similar passenger rights should continue to apply after the UK leaves the EU. The UK Government has said flights will not be cancelled due to Brexit. However, if there is flight disruption due to Brexit, you probably will NOT get compensation. Air travellers only get compensation if a delay is deemed to be within the airline’s control. Clearly Brexit and its repercussions are beyond their control.
In order to off-set the concerns of many travellers, companies are issuing advice and guarantees. Also, their Terms and Conditions may be updated to say that the cancellation of flights due to Brexit will NOT be deemed to be within their control. Some airlines may class a Brexit cancellation in the same category as a natural disaster like a volcanic eruption or earthquake.
A lot of effort is being put into assuring business continues, whatever the outcome of Brexit. But offers of Brexit guarantees are not for free, someone is baring the costs.
One of the least favoured options is that there be No-Deal between the EU and UK post Brexit. Now, the uncertainty continues as it’s clear the UK will NOT be leaving the EU this coming Friday. A Salutatory Instrument has been passed by the House of Commons (HoC) that has changed the planned leaving date to either 12 April 2019 or 22 May 2019.
Last night, the British Parliament took control of the HoC agenda and conducted a series of “indicative votes”. There was no majority for any of the Brexit options on the table. However, amongst UK Members of Parliament, the “Peoples Vote” option, a further referendum, secured the biggest vote in favour (268 votes).
Another EU summit is being planned in Brussels for the week commencing 8 April 2019. Another extension will be on the table if progress hasn’t been made in the UK. Each extension taken up by the UK shortens the planned transition period by a corresponding amount of time. The current Article 50 period can last as long as the Treaties on which it is based. A positive option is desperately needed to plot a way forward. The option to revoke Article 50 is always there.