It’s almost unnecessary to say that there’s little time left to secure an EU-UK deal this year. It’s now October. This week, the European Council has a 2-day Special Summit in Brussels. They meet again at a European Council Summit on 15th and 16th of the month. There’s a European Parliament plenary session between 19th and 22nd October too. Each of these is an opportunity to converge on an EU-UK deal, sign it, and ensure it gets ratified.
It might be apparent from my writings, as well as the media reports that the ups and downs of speculation about any potential deal have reached irritating proportions. One week a positive mood, next week a negative mood while progress on resolving Brexit issues continues at a snail’s pace.
In the UK Parliament, the UK Internal Markets Bill has passed on 3rd reading by 340 to 256 votes. Thus, the intention to break the existing Withdrawal Agreement with the EU has been signalled. None of this peculiar negotiating dance seems to make much difference. Extra costs, more red tape and shrinking investment continue to plague the UK economy.
When challenged about the growing Brexit costs, UK Government Ministers just say that’s an inevitable consequence of leaving the EU. There’s no longer any attempt to justify new regulations other than to blame the EU. With the UK planning to break a recently agreed deal, it makes it difficult for Europeans to have trust when ratifying the next one.
The latest joint statement coming from both side of the negotiation is short, but it does hold out hope for a deal. Trouble is that both sides keep saying the “ball” is in the others court.
World-wide aviation continues to be buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of jobs hang on the line. Not only that but the hospitality and tourism industries are reeling as the downturn shows no sign of ending.
Recently a quote from Paul Everitt (aerospace trade body) summed up the situation with understatement: “It’s not a happy place for us to be.”