Aviation & Brexit 93

83-days[1] to the next scheduled Brexit cliff edge.

Large numbers of companies based in the UK have applied to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to be recognised as “third-country” organisations that are able to do business within the European Single Market[2].  Few consider that a purely UK approval will be enough to enable them to continue their international business.  This is not taking back control from “bureaucrats” but giving them more work to do.

Many in the aviation industry, including myself did firmly believe that the UK would remain a member of EASA, despite Brexit.  However, it seems we were wrong.

It’s important to recall that prior to the UK referendum the now Prime Minister Johnson was saying that we will not leave the European Single Market.  Leave campaigners sold a story that, for all its incoherence and inconsistency, was simple but downright dishonest.  Yet, every single time an “expert” points out the significant downsides of Brexit, almost faster than the speed of light, a volley of criticisms come their way.  It’s a predicable range of statements from: just ignore them it’s “project fear” again to fake news by elitists having a hissy fit to stop Brexit.   And then there’s the abuse that is much worse but the less said about that the better.

The claims now being made by Brexit supporting UK Ministers are that UK business wants certainty and the only way to get it is to force the issue on 31 October 2019.  Given the level of turbulence and uncertainty that the last 3-years have brought us, these claims from a pretty rum bunch are a dubious and desperate justifications to say the least.

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) is responsible for several public bodies, including the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).  The UK aviation industry operates essentially without subsidy and so is not a big part of DfT spending.   With Brexit there’s been a leadership problem.  Who speaks for aviation in the UK Government?  On my reckoning there’s been 4 Aviation Ministers in the last 3-years.  That’s not good when it comes to setting policy and strategy.  For one of UK’s foremost industries and under some jeopardy with a No Deal Brexit coming this is not good at all.

Aviation Minister at the DfT From To
Lord Ahmad May 2015 June 2017
Lord Martin Callanan June 2017 October 2017
Baroness (Liz) Sugg October 2017 April 2019
Baroness Vere of Norbiton April 2019 Now

[1] https://interactive.news.sky.com/2017/brexit-countdown/

[2] https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2019/07/uk-aerospace-firms-fleeing-the-caa-over-brexit-concerns

 

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