Flights grounded and animal exports banned if UK crashes out of EU, government warns

Posted On: 
24th September 2018

Flights between the UK and EU could be grounded if there is a no-deal Brexit, the Government has warned.

Flights to and from the UK may be grounded in a no-deal Brexit.
PA Images

The latest batch of documents setting out the preparations ministers have made for crashing out of the bloc also reveal that pet owners may have to plan months in advance for travelling to the continent.

Exporting animal products and other items to Europe may become impossible, coaches and hauliers may be banned, while British drivers' car insurance may no longer be valid when they travel to the EU.

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On flights, the papers say: "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."

Owners of dogs, cats and ferrets would have to make preparations for their animals "at least four months ahead in advance of the date they wish to travel" because the UK would no longer have access to the European pet passport system.

Brexit will see the UK become a "third country" for the EU, but a no-deal scenario could put that status at risk.

The documents say: "In the unlikely event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK would apply for this status but cannot be certain of the EU response or its timing. Without listed status no exports to the EU could take place."

Shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman said: "Today's Brexit notices underline why no-deal is simply not an option.

"The British people will be very alarmed to find out that UK and EU licensed airlines would need to seek new permissions to be able to operate in the event of no-deal.

"British exporters, consumers and tourists cannot have their lives and businesses thrown into chaos because this Tory Government are too divided to succeed in the negotiations."


Meanwhile, Theresa May has faced down her Cabinet critics by refusing to ditch the Brexit strategy agreed at Chequers.

The Prime Minister met with her top team in Downing Street today and told them there was no other option, despite the EU effectively killing off her plans last week.

"The PM said that, as it stands, the Government’s White Paper is the only plan on the table which achieves this and she remains confident of securing a deal with the EU," a Number 10 spokesperson said.