If the UK leaves the EU without any withdrawal agreement, EU rules and regulations will, very abruptly, stop applying to the UK after 29 March next year. So what would that mean in terms of planes being able to take off and land?

Well, the UK would no longer be part of the EU’s single aviation market, which is the basis for flights in and out of the country at the moment, not just to the EU itself, but to other countries with which the EU has a deal – such as the United States and Canada.

In all, the EU governs direct UK aviation access to 44 other countries.

Of course, you can always negotiate new agreements, but access would start at a pretty low level and negotiations take time.

That’s why a sudden no-deal scenario is so alarming to the industry, a point that was recognised back in October 2017 by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

“It is theoretically conceivable in a no-deal scenario that there will be no air traffic moving between the UK and EU on 29 March 2019,” he said.

“But I don’t think anybody seriously believes that is where we will get to.”

As always, the devil would be in the detail.




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