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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ireland underline the reality of a no deal Brexit

The warning from Ireland's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, that, in the event of a disorderly exit from the European Union, British airlines could be banned from Irish airspace has helped to focus minds on what happens if the divided and shambolic UK Government fails to agree a deal with the EU before we exit on 29 March 2019.

As the Independent confirms, at present the UK benefits from “open skies” rules, which allow EU airlines to fly between and over any European airspace. But unless an aviation agreement is reached before the final departure date, then Civil Aviation Authority rulings will not be recognised and insurance companies will cease to cover flights.

Irish air space is absolutely crucial in civil aviation terms. London is the main European hub for transatlantic aviation, and most flights to and from the US East Coast, including Boston, New York and Washington DC, fly over Irish airspace. In addition, Ryanair could be seriously affected. Europe’s biggest low-cost airline has its largest hub at Stansted airport.

All of this is still up for discussion and agreement of course, but the stakes are high. The UK cannot afford a no deal Brexit.
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