On your marks, get set and go. The starting pistol hasn’t been fired yet, but the players are on their marks. It’s a 100-meter sprint. Or should I say a 109.361-yard sprint to the end of the year.
The EU27 Member States are having their preparatory discussions on their future relationship with the UK. At the same time statements are drifting out of British Minister’s offices containing rhetoric more suited to an election campaign.
Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the EU is up and running until 30 June 2020 when Germany takes over. The EU’s “Internal EU27 Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom” has published slides that illustrate the likely situation after the 31st January. They recognise that transport, including aviation will be a fundamental component of the EU-UK relationship. It’s clear that UK aviation operators will no longer have the same access rights as EU Member State operators.
Now, according to The Financial Times the British Chancellor is saying: “There will not be alignment, we will not be a rule taker, we will not be in the Single Market and we will not be in the Customs Union — and we will do this by the end of the year.”
These words maybe for public consumption because to an extent they speak the obvious. One exception is the notion that the UK will not be a “rule taker”. Naturally, this can be interpreted in many ways, even in this year, when the existing Withdrawal Agreement becomes law. Because that agreement has the affect of taking European rules and making them UK rules.
In trading with large markets, like the EU and US there’s going to be the obligation to meet their standards. It seems obvious to say but that means having rules that are either taken from those parties or that are acceptable to those parties. Call that what you like but it is taking rules. Never in the past did the UK Parliament approve every single new or modified rule that the was part of compliance with an international agreement and it’s likely that will continue.
EU aviation rules are designed to be compliant with international standards and recommended practices. There is scope for the UK to deviate from the existing arrangements. The question should be asked, as to; why and what are the benefits in doing so?
Meanwhile, as the scene is set for the next step in these vital international negotiations, the daily news in the UK is far more trivial; a £500,000 crowd funding exercise for some big bongs in London is filling the airwaves and newspapers.