LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May published her blueprint for relations with the European Union after Brexit on Thursday, including proposals for the UK to participate in the European Aviation Safety Agency and maintain flying rights.
Below are the main proposals from the so-called “White Paper” which relate to the country’s aviation and aerospace industries.
The UK proposes “participation by the UK in those EU agencies that provide authorizations for goods in highly regulated sectors” such as “the European Aviation Safety Agency”.
EASA is responsible for issuing safety approvals for all planes and aircraft components.
The UK said that under its proposals, it would remain an active participant without voting rights and would make a financial contribution to EASA.
It proposes “becoming a third country member via the established route under Article 66 of the EASA basic regulation, as Switzerland has”.
Before publishing the White Paper, the UK government had said it wanted to explore the terms on which it could continue to participate in EASA.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has warned that planes could be grounded if Britain leaves the EU without a deal. Rival easyJet has established a new airline in Austria to protect its rights.
The UK’s proposals include “an Air Transport Agreement which seeks to maintain reciprocal liberalized aviation access between and within the territory of the UK and the EU, alongside UK participation in EASA”.
“This would permit UK and EU carriers to operate air services to, from and within the territory of both the UK and the EU on an equal basis. This could be supported through an approach to ownership and control that avoids introducing additional barriers to businesses,” the paper said.
“There is precedent for this within the EU-Canada Air Services Agreement, which provides for the possibility of fully liberalized access subject to a sufficiently open bilateral approach to ownership and control.”
Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton