Holidays

Brexit latest: Brussels’ tetchy signals on UK divorce cause flights uncertainty | UK | News

Mr Wardle claimed Britons could be faced by major disruption when planning their future holidays if the United Kingdom and Brussels don’t reach an agreement on aviation during the Brexit talks.

The Association of British Travel Agents director of public affairs warned told BBC News: “We see from Brussels that the talks are a bit tetchy and the message the public needs to know is that it’s really important that politicians get a grip on this and sort it out.

“53m Brits take holidays or go visit friends and family and go to Europe to do that. Getting this right is really important.

“Aviation is one of the biggest issues that need to be sorted out. All our flights to Europe and America are tied up with our membership with the EU and unless something replaces that, unless some deal is done on aviation, it’s not clear what that will look like. Making sure that happens is really important.

At the moment Britain is a member of Open Skies agreement which allows free travel between any member state and the United States because of its membership of the EU.

The United Kingdom will be automatically excluded from the agreement when Brexit becomes official in March 2019.

Britain’s largest airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick advised the Government to reach an agreement on aviation with the European Union as soon as possible to avoid a post-Brexit legal vacuum that could see thousands of flights suspended.

US airlines have also urged the British Government to move faster to ensure passenger and cargo flights are not disrupted after Brexit.

Airlines for America chief executive Nick Calio told The Guardian: “The negotiations are moving slowly, we are very concerned about the timing.

“We obviously view it with a sense of urgency given the amount of commerce that goes back and forth between every party involved here.

“We are trying to imbue a sense of urgency and educate policymakers on both sides of the UK and EU that this needs to be dealt with and can’t be subject to what would be a series of political decisions.”

UK airports see between 150m and 200m passengers each year as Britain is the biggest getaway to the United States.

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