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Ministers 'in talks' over new UK-US flight deal

29 November 2016 08:08

The UK is on course to leave the wider EU

The UK is on course to leave the wider EU

Plans are in place to develop a new aviation arrangement between the UK and US, to ensure holidaymakers can still fly between the two countries once Britain departs the EU.

That is according to a government transport minister, who addressed concerns about how air traffic will be controlled following Brexit. Air traffic between the two countries is currently overseen by an EU-wide agreement.

In comments made before the House of Commons, Paul Maynard said British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has already enjoyed positive discussions with his counterparts over the Atlantic.

Mr Maynard made his remarks after being pressed on the issue by fellow politician Gavin Shuker. Mr Shuker had called for the aviation sector to receive priority during the Brexit negotiations.

In response, Mr Maynard said: "Leaving the EU will give us more freedom to make our aviation agreements far beyond Europe. It is vital that we seek to quickly replace or amend our EU agreement with countries such as the US and Canada."

'Positive' discussions

He added: "The Secretary of State for Transport has already held very positive discussions with his counterpart in the US, and the aviation minister has also met with numerous other airlines who already operate into the UK from outside the EU.

"So we are confident in reaching an early agreement, but we will continue to engage with the industry on these issues throughout the coming months."

Travel insurance

Holidaymakers will be closely watching events to see if Brexit has any impact on flights.

In the meantime, they can continue to protect themselves when venturing abroad by taking out trusted travel insurance cover.

Current agreements

At present, flights which take place between Britain and the US are governed by the 2008 Open Skies Agreement. This means airlines are able to fly on any route between the two destinations.

According to Mr Maynard, the Government is looking at whether the UK should remain in the Single European Sky initiative following Brexit, which is another European Commission scheme.