The EU is privately telling European countries to prepare their airports for a no-deal Brexit
- European Union member states should prepare their airports for no-deal Brexit, the European Commission reportedly warned earlier in June.
- A lack of progress in Brexit negotiations has increased the chances of no-deal.
- A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Britain and Europe's aviation industry.
- It would immediately ground flights between the UK and EU because EU-issued aviation licenses would no longer be valid.
- Trade minister Liam Fox warned over the weekend that the UK was "not bluffing" about its readiness to walk away without a deal.
LONDON — European Union member states should prepare their airports and aviation sector for a no-deal Brexit, the European Commission reportedly told diplomats earlier in June.
The warning was made during a June 12 meeting chaired by Filip Cornelis, the director of aviation at the Commission's transport department, Politico reported. It was attended by diplomats from the EU27 countries as well as representatives from their civil aviation authorities.
Cornelis reportedly told member states to prepare for the United Kingdom to crash out of the EU without a deal in March next year by focusing on areas of aviation including security, market access, safety regulations, and passenger rights.
It also advised airports to consider increasing their customs capacity. That is because a lot of cargo from outside the EU is currently processed in UK airports before entering the European single market. In a no-deal scenario, all cargo would need to be processed by customs officers on the continent.
The UK and EU have agreed on a 20-month transition period from March but it will not be ratified until negotiators can agree on issues such as the solution to avoid a hard border in Ireland, which is still a long way from being resolved.
That lack of progress means the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit appears to have increased significantly.
"A sense of no deal rising again. It's a total shambles. Nobody can make any sense of what's going on," a source close to the European Parliament's Brexit taskforce told BI.
A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Britain and Europe's aviation industry. It would immediately ground flights between the UK and EU because EU-issued aviation licences would no longer be valid.
Trade minister Liam Fox warned on the weekend that the UK was "not bluffing" about its readiness to walk away from the EU without a deal.
"None of us, including me, want no deal," he said.
"I sincerely hope we get a good deal and I think that is in the interests of the European Union as well as the United Kingdom, but if politics is put ahead of the economic well-being, the long-term well-being of the United Kingdom, we would have to walk away."
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