Brussels Brexit work and the General Election
Despite the focus on campaigning by all of the main political parties, the General Election doesn’t put everything else on hold, especially in the run up to peak booking season, and the pending deadline for Brexit is not that far away, despite its further extension.
ABTA will be sharing its manifesto for the election next week and engaging with political parties and individual MPs on the value of tourism but this last week our Head of Public Affairs, Luke Petherbridge, has once again been in Brussels speaking with EU Member State representatives involved in Brexit talks.
Building on conversations at WTM, and with the aim of ensuring that decision makers understand the needs of the UK travel industry, topics included addressing policy gaps in case of a no-deal Brexit and preparing for the next phase of talks should a deal be ratified.
If and when the UK enters a transition period, following sign off of the withdrawal agreement, there is still an enormous amount of work to do to secure deals on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. That includes important matters around aviation, workers’ rights and reciprocal healthcare, to name just three. With the deadline for talks being December 2020 it does not leave much time for agreements to be made so preparatory work now is vital.
In the meantime we know gladly that nothing will change in the short term when it comes to flights until at least October next year and we will be using this to reassure customers that they can continue to travel with confidence as they plan and book their holidays and business travel arrangements for 2020.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive