UK welcomes Brussels’ no-deal Brexit planning for aviation and trucking

The UK has welcomed the European Union’s (EU) “no-deal” contingency action plan which includes certain short term safeguards for the UK aviation sector.

On transport, the EU document includes a proposal which would ensure the continuation of flights between the UK and the EU and one which would allow UK hauliers to continue to carry goods into the EU.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that the announcement from Brussels demonstrated "a clear commitment to future travel while offering reassurances that both sides will work to maintain UK and EU transport links".

He added: "The European Commission’s proposals today are welcome. We need to study the detail, but any steps to ensure UK hauliers can continue carrying goods into the EU in the event of a no deal is good news, as is ensuring flights are maintained between the UK and EU immediately after Brexit.

"Whether for business or leisure, travellers can continue to book with confidence."

In its statement, the European Commission confirmed that it has adopted two measures "that will avoid full interruption of air traffic between the EU and the UK in the event of no deal".

It added: "These measures will only ensure basic connectivity and in no means replicate the significant advantages of membership of the Single European Sky. This is subject to the UK conferring equivalent rights to EU air carriers, as well as the UK ensuring conditions of fair competition."

The proposals will see a regulation to ensure temporarily (for 12 months) the provision of certain air services between the UK and the EU, and a proposal for a regulation to extend temporarily (for 9 months) the validity of certain aviation safety licences.

The commission has also adopted a proposal for a regulation to allow UK operators to temporarily (nine months) carry goods into the EU, provided the UK confers equivalent rights to EU road haulage operators and subject to fair competition conditions.

Regarding Customs and the export of goods, the commission said: "In a no deal scenario, all relevant EU legislation on the importation and exportation of goods will apply to goods moving between the EU and the UK."

The Commission has adopted the following technical measures:

  • A Delegated Regulation to include the seas surrounding the UK in the provisions on time-limits within which entry summary declarations and pre-departure declarations have to be lodged prior to leaving or entering the Union’s customs territory.
  • A proposal for a Regulation to add the UK to the list of countries for which a general authorisation to export dual use items is valid throughout the EU.

Adding: "It is essential, however, that Member States take all the necessary steps to be in a position to apply the Union Customs Code and the relevant rules regarding indirect taxation in relation to the United Kingdom."

Grayling said that the UK government has already set out in technical notices published on 24th September (2018), that it would permit EU airlines to fly to the UK and "would expect this to be reciprocated".

The UK stands ready in principle to consider taking reciprocal steps for EU hauliers coming to Britain.