Brexit preparedness: Commission welcomes political agreement on contingency measures for basic air connectivity

Yesterday, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a provisional agreement on the European Commission’s proposal to ensure basic air connectivity in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

This is part of the Commission’s Brexit contingency proposals to limit the most significant damage caused in case the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement. Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc welcomed the agreement: “Basic air connectivity between EU and UK airports will be ensured, provided that the UK gives the same treatment to EU airlines. This means that EU passengers will still be able to travel by plane in case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. However this in no way replicates the significant advantages of the EU’s single market. Yesterday’s provisional political agreement endorses the contingency measures proposed last December by the Commission to ensure basic connectivity. Cargo routes with third countries will be allowed for a limited period of five months, so that the airlines concerned can wind down operations and re-route traffic as necessary. EU airlines partly owned by UK nationals will also be given six months to do the necessary to achieve EU majority ownership and control. These contingency measures will not � and cannot � mitigate the overall impact of a “no-deal” scenario, nor do they in any way compensate for the lack of preparedness or replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the favourable terms of any transition period, as provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement. They are temporary in nature, limited in scope and will be adopted unilaterally by the EU. They are not mini-deals and have not been negotiated with the UK. Therefore, the continuation of all existing air transport services under the same terms as they are supplied today cannot be guaranteed. Next steps: the text of the Regulation will still have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. As part of the same package, the Commission has also proposed a Regulation that implements contingency measures in the area of aviation safety. It ensures in particular that EU airlines and other aircraft operators can continue to operate aircraft that contain parts made or serviced in the UK.

Source: European Commission Representation in Cyprus