Fears of flight ticket cancellations following no-deal Brexit

Fears of flight ticket cancellations and families having to take food and nappy supplies to airports to cope with no-deal Brexit delays have been raised by MPs.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 1:19 pm

Labour's Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West) claimed flights between Europe and the UK could be capped if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, adding that this could see five million plane tickets being cancelled.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, however, denied there would be a cap on passenger numbers, and said families would be able to continue holidaying "with impunity" as new regulations would guarantee their travel.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Bailey said: "In the event of a no-deal Brexit, flights between the EU and the UK would be capped at 2018 levels.

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"This could result in the cancellation of up to five million flight tickets."

Mr Grayling replied: "I am afraid (Mr Bailey) is wrong in what he has just said.

"There is now a new regulation in place for guaranteed aviation between the United Kingdom and the European Union in all circumstances, and it does not include any kind of cap."

Mr Grayling also played down concerns raised by Labour former minister Chris Bryant, who asked about potential five-hour delays at airports as people tried to catch their planes.

Mr Bryant said: "Which? reckons that, if we have a no-deal Brexit, that British passengers may well face more than five hours' wait in airports in this country and returning to the UK, and they have recommended people should not only take water with them and food, but they should also take nappies as well."

Mr Grayling said: "We continue to look very carefully at all the different implications of all the Brexit scenarios, but what I would say is passengers from this country go on holiday around the world, not just in the European Union, they do not end up waiting five hours in airports because the reality is those countries and those airports want British tourists and they will work to make sure that is possible."

He added that new regulations had been brought in to make sure British holidaymakers could continue to travel as normal.

"In the last few days the European Council has confirmed and ratified the regulation that ensures that, across the whole European Union, flights will continue as normal this summer, and that means people can go ahead and book their holidays with impunity and enjoy a good time in their normal destination."

He also said that flights would continue "whatever the outcome" of the UK's Brexit negotiations.

By Josh Thomas, Press Association Parliamentary Staff