Chris Grayling admits talks on UK-EU post-Brexit flights have not begun

PUBLISHED: 12:41 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:42 29 October 2018

A flight of fancy

$image.copyright

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has insisted that flights between the UK and EU will not be grounded after Brexit despite admitting that talks on route access have not begun.

The ardent Brexiteer told a gathering of UK airport bosses that the "process is not in our hands".

The single market for aviation, created in the 1990s, means there are no commercial restrictions for airlines flying within the EU.

The continuation of flights between the UK and the EU after Brexit will require either a fresh deal with the European Commission or bilateral agreements with individual countries.

The UK aviation industry and government has called for the liberal market to continue after Brexit.

Speaking at the annual conference of trade body the Airport Operators Association in central London, Grayling said: "I have had plenty of talks with both the Commission and other transport ministers.

"We will start formal talks as soon as they are willing to start formal talks. As I sit here today, they haven't been.

"But I haven't met one single person either in the Commission or a member state who believes there will be an interruption to aviation."

Grayling noted that Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, who has repeatedly claimed flights could be grounded, is "selling tickets for next summer and expanding the number of routes between the UK and the European Union".

He went on: "There is no way that flights will stop between the UK and the EU after March."

Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, told the event his Brexit preparations included getting ready for the "worst case scenario".

He warned that the lack of uncertainty "doesn't really help the planning process" which he described as expensive and time consuming.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Here's our pick of the upcoming Remain-focused campaign activities, talks and events nationwide.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy