14 Dec

Brexit transition period is vital for the travel industry

Last week’s development in the Brexit negotiations was an important step forward.

With many EU nationals working in the travel industry in the UK, it was particularly encouraging to hear that their rights will be protected after Brexit, which will hopefully reassure many employees and their employers.

The recognition that a transition period is a necessary part of Britain leaving the EU is also important. Many of you will already have begun to look ahead to the 2019 holiday seasons, so securing a transition agreement as early as possible in 2018 will be vital in order to provide certainty for businesses and consumers.

As our report in November showed, the UK outbound travel industry contributes £28bn to the UK economy and €37bn to the economies of the EU 27 nations.  It also supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses, both here and abroad.

ABTA has been working closely with the EU and the UK government to demonstrate the value of UK travel and raise issues on behalf of the industry, and we will continue to do this throughout the next phase of the negotiations.

Most recently we’ve met with the Irish and Greek EU ambassadors, the director of aviation at the European Commission, a special adviser to the Prime Minister and the chair of the conservative backbench committee on exiting the EU. We’ll also be meeting with the Minister for Aviation and the Minister for Tourism in the near future.

Aviation access, the ability to post staff to support tourists and visa-free travel for holidaymakers and business travellers are on the top of our agenda in all of these discussions, as we stress the need to provide certainty for businesses and consumers.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive