Yesterday in the House of Commons, members of Parliament took part in a Westminster Hall debate on aviation and Brexit.
The debate which was brought forward by the MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Mike Kane MP, highlighted the importance of the UK’s world-leading aerospace sector and how it must remain globally competitive post-Brexit.
Several politicians stressed the importance of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), arguing that the UK must remain a member of EASA to maintain safety, access to global markets and attract global investment.
Throughout Brexit negotiations, ADS has been calling for the UK to remain a member of EASA. As a member of EASA, the UK benefits from working to one set of safety certifications when exporting aircraft products and services across Europe, and from the ability for EASA to conduct bi-lateral agreements with key global markets.
Once the UK leaves the EU, significant time and cost would be required to rebuild the certification capabilities of the UK CAA. Remaining a member of EASA is a more cost effective and practical solution to maintain safety and competitiveness.
Further to this, if the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, UK based design, production and maintenance approvals would no longer be valid in the EU, causing significant disruption to aerospace supply chains and aviation services.
It was positive to see politicians raising the importance of remaining in EASA and the wider aerospace and aviation industry and putting it at the forefront of the government’s mind.
In response to the debate, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Jesse Norman MP highlighted that it is one of the Government’s priorities to secure an agreement on aviation and EASA, he said:
“This is a priority for us and, as the Government’s White Paper sets out, we are seeking to secure an agreement that maintains reciprocal and liberalised—I emphasise the word liberalised – aviation access between and within the territory of the UK and the EU, alongside UK participation in the EASA system.”