My Letter for the Evening Standard.
Finally the penny has dropped: Chancellor Philip Hammond has admitted that it is conceivable that in a “no deal” scenario there will be no air traffic moving between the UK and EU in March 2019.
The Chancellor thinks this is unlikely, yet Brexit Cabinet colleague Liam Fox recently said that falling out of the EU and adopting World Trade Organisation rules would be fine. Fox should know better, given that the aviation sector simply cannot fall back onto WTO rules.
With the UK leaving Europe’s “open skies”, the Government needs to negotiate a bilateral agreement with the EU, and soon, given that airline schedules and flight bookings are released almost a year in advance.
There may be goodwill to strike a deal, but aviation cannot wait until 2019.