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Published on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Government warns UK travellers face extra checks and disruption under no-deal Brexit

Air travel and road transport between the UK and Europe face disruption if there is no Brexit agreement and UK passengers will have to undergo extra security screening when changing flights in the EU, according to the Government's worst-case scenario.

In a series of documents setting out what is likely to happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Government says bus and coach services to EU countries could be suspended and the EU could stop recognising UK aviation safety standards.

The Government document says: "If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission."

However, the document makes clear the Government is expecting an agreement will be forged in time.

The UK 'would envisage' allowing EU airlines to continue flying and 'we would expect EU countries to reciprocate in turn' the document says.

It adds: "It would not be in the interest of any EU country or the UK to restrict the choice of destinations that could be served, though if such permissions are not granted, there could be disruption to some flights."

A separate document warns UK passengers may have to undergo extra security screening when changing flights in the EU after Brexit, including having their luggage rescanned when connecting at other EU airports.

Pet owners face having to plan at least four months in advance if there is no Brexit deal as the current pet passport scheme will no longer apply.

The Government says reaching a deal with the EU is the most likely outcome but that it is its 'duty as a responsible government' to prepare for the failure to reach one.

The British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) says the new Government guidance for the aviation industry what would happen in a no-deal Brexit has 'brought some much-needed clarity'.  

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:"For pilots in particular we are pleased to see some clarity on the Government's intentions on pilot licences in a no-deal scenario which we have been seeking for some time.

"The level of detail in the plans shows the Government is taking the future of aviation seriously and gives grounds for confidence that contingencies are in hand for even the worst case scenarios.

"However, a deal or partial deal that keeps the UK in EASA is the Government's primary objective and would remove the need for much of this planning.

"The other side to all this is the sheer scale of the administrative burden required to keep planes flying if there is no deal on anything with the EU.

"On pilot licences alone, if some UK licence holders have to switch to an EU licence this can take each one several months and so an efficient, fast track approach is needed for all these processes and the authorities need to be properly resourced to carry them out."

Airlines UK, which represents 13 UK-registered carriers, told the BBC the European Commission has said it will put in place a 'bare bones' aviation agreement with the UK to keep planes flying and to cover safety issues.

CEO Tim Alderslade said "Whilst we don't support a no-deal Brexit, we welcome that both the UK and EU are proposing in this event a minimum agreement that would cover flight and safety requirements for the benefit of both passenger and cargo services."


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  • Passport control

    Passport control has always been in place, as the UK did not sign the Shengen Agreement. UK documents are no longer stamped when entering the EU and this may be brought back in, but security is and should be the same for all passengers, not just those outside the EU.

    By Elaine Molyneux, Tuesday, September 25, 2018

  • I went to France last week...

    ...and on the way out from Folkestone I had to get off my 'bus, walk through French immigration and show my passport to an official and exchanging a few words before being let back onto the 'bus and travelling through the Chunnel. On my return I had to do the same thing in Calais except that in this case it was British immigration. Tell me, just how is this process going to be any more difficult or slow once we leave the EU? Assuming that all visitors aren't going to be strip-searched and interrogated, I can't see that our leaving the EU will make the slightest difference to crossing that frontier - and my guess is that most other frontiers will be much the same. It strikes me that this is just another one of "Project Fear's" last ditch attempts to scare us into abandoning Brexit.

    By Richard English, Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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