Brexit, Aviation and the Withdrawal 10

IMG_1443For all those who are experiencing the sandstorm[1] known as the “Calima” in the Canary Islands:

If your medium-haul flight[2] is delayed, EU law may entitle you to care and assistance during the delay (which means food, drink and accommodation). Depending on the length and cause of the delay, you may also be able to claim a lump sum in compensation.

As I understand it, it’s good to know that this advice remains applicable to British passengers.  This Saharan sandstorm has reduced visibility and caused hundreds of flight diversions and cancellations.

Over the next months we will see just how much Brexit is either a means to another end or a renormalisation of decades of semi-detached British attitudes towards our nearest neighbours.

In the first case, this is an ideological conflict where disruption, at whatever the cost, is seen as the route to a transformational future.  A radical populist domestic desire to reshape Britain.  Certainly, this direction will inflict much pain on people for a perceived “greater good” of the few.

In the second case, a rational and robust settlement is possible that can bring about continued peace, prosperity and friendship just as is stamped on the new 50p coin[3].  This outcome requires pragmatism and the ability to seek fair and balanced trade-offs.

The political problem lies between the two cases and it’s that of overpromising and underdelivering.  Winning Brexit in the UK has meant a great deal of overpromising.  So, the winner’s political danger of underdelivering are big.  Sadly, that’s the irritating sharp spike that leads to much of the daily bluster and sloganizing.

In my endless stream of e-mails, I received an advertisement for a training course.  It said: Learn how to deal with aspects of decision making and combine your abilities with sound judgement.  Given the choices ahead, there are more than a few British politicians and civil servants in need.

European Ministers will be attending this week’s EU General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels[4]. The GAC agenda includes preparing for the March European Council meeting and the upcoming negotiations on a new partnership with the UK.  So, both parties are busy preparing.

It seems to me that independence and partnership are compatible.  They have been for centuries.  Every opportunity needs to be used to find the right form of words to capture that idea.  Continued peace, prosperity and friendship with our neighbours is far too valuable to be vandalized for headlines in The Sun or Daily Mail.

[1] https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/europe-struck-desert-dust

[2] Any flight that covers 1,500km – 3,500km is medium-haul.

[3] https://www.royalmint.com/our-coins/events/withdrawal-from-the-european-union-2020/

[4] https://twitter.com/EU2020HR/status/1232209919140560896?s=20

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