Parliament has finished for the summer, with politicians heading off on holiday after the flurry of activity about Brexit in the last few weeks.
Last week’s ABTA Today updated you on the government’s White Paper, the so-called Chequers agreement, which sets out the UK’s negotiating stance over the coming months.
We expect negotiations around this and other issues, such as the Irish border, to continue over the summer, through until the European Council meeting in October, where the exit agreement is scheduled to be finalised. An agreement would ensure a transition period, starting on March 30th 2019 and lasting until December 31 2020, where current laws and systems remain unchanged.
However, the government has announced it is planning to issue around 70 “technical notices” about what needs to be done in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. Released over August and September and aimed at businesses and individuals, these will give advice on a range of issues and will set out what preparation is needed, should the talks fail to achieve an agreement. Some of these will relate to the travel industry, and we are expecting the notices to cover areas such as aviation, borders and consumer rights.
In light of the increasing debate around the possibility of a “no-deal” scenario, ABTA is focusing its efforts in two main areas: we shall continue our work with politicians in Westminster and Europe to advocate a resolution that preserves the structures and rights that have enabled tourism to flourish. In addition, we will be carrying out our own contingency planning in parallel to this, so that Members and customers are prepared, as far as possible, for a “no-deal” exit. We will provide further updates to Members as the situation evolves.