The original Brexit transition date has gone by. Am I comfortable writing this on 1st April? Well it’s past lunchtime so it would now be bad form to make a joke about the whole debacle.
It’s another day of UK Parliamentary “indicative” votes or should I say evening? We might imagine a compromise be sought and happiness reigns. However, every time I hear a UK politician talk about compromise, they usually mean others coming around to their point of view. The outcome of the “indicative” votes held by the House of Commons (HoC) on 27th March were received with disappointment but at least they were an attempt to move forward. Regarding the future course of the Brexit the, UK Parliament is deeply divided on the big decisions, but voting patterns are starting to emerge.
Clearly, the international money markets think that a “soft” Brexit is the flavour of the day. UK’s currency hasn’t ducked and dived too much for a while. On the table is the proposal to remain in a Customs Union (CU) with the EU Member States. This doesn’t explicitly touch on civil aviation although it does concern the movement of goods and services. Implicit in this arrangement is close cooperation and collaborative working. So, it’s conceivable that might extend to such possibilities as participation in European Agencies.
Whilst compromise and consensus are desirable and nice to talk about, the tone of the continuing public debate isn’t getting any calmer. The BBC News Reality Check team just published a reasonably worded assessment called “Brexit: Will flights be disrupted?”. Reading some of the comments to this item posted on Social Media indicates that we have a long way to go. The more polite ones are along these lines: I can’t believe people really think this is an issue, we few our planes before the EU and media starts scaremongering just before the Easter holidays. The knee-jerk reactions of vocal Brexit supporters are to deem anything that paints their project in a negative light as: bias and scaremongering, regardless of its veracity.
There’s a tendency to ignore the fact that the single market in aviation has transformed flying for British air travellers. There’s greater choice and competition and new routes across Europe and beyond. It’s impossible to go back to the 1970s. And who would want to go back to a State controlled industry without much concern for passengers? Ignoring the reality that the EU has delivered is twisted and downright foolish. After nearly 3-years no one knows what Brexit is or will become. It’s a truly shocking situation.