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Legal certainty critical for aviation post-Brexit – Richmond

12th March 2018 - Neale Richmond, TD

Legal certainty is critical for the aviation sector post-Brexit, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Chair of the Seanad Brexit Committee, Senator Neale Richmond, was speaking as airlines begin selling post-Brexit flights.

Senator Richmond said: “As the Brexit negotiations move, slowly, into the second phase of the talks, the negotiation of a new EU-US-UK open skies agreement must be a top priority.

“The withdrawal of the UK from the EU could cause widespread uncertainty in the aviation industry if a clear plan for amending the EU-US open skies agreement is not laid out very soon.

“While a long term plan cannot be agreed until the UK actually leaves the EU in March 2019, the priority must now be to agree a transitional arrangement.

“This arrangement should preserve the operational status quo until such a time as a future relationship agreement between the UK and the EU has been finalised and is ready to be implemented.

“The global aviation network is underpinned by a series of agreements quite separate to any trade agreements.

“These are complex agreements and cover much regulation. Unlike most other sectors of industry, aviation doesn’t have a fall back WTO-type agreement that allows operations to continue in the absence of a bilateral agreement, like agriculture for example.

“What is needed is legal certainty, without such certainty airlines will be selling flights into the market with an effective asterisk beside them indicating that these are subject to an agreement being reached. Connectivity will be threatened if this is not addressed very soon.

“Of all countries, Ireland stands to be the most impacted by any lack of certainty after the UK due to our connectivity with the UK and our position as a key bridge in and of the US through the UK and often elsewhere in Europe.”


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