In a new report, compiled following the triggering of Article 50, ABTA – the Travel Association, has set out priorities for the Brexit negotiations.
Outlined in the report, entitled “Making a Success of Brexit for Travel and Tourism”, are the priorities and opportunities for the travel industry and UK travellers that ABTA is asking the Government to focus on as formal negotiations begin.
In 2015, UK residents made 37 million holiday and business trips to the EU and EU residents made over 16 million holiday and business trips to the UK. It is essential that holidaymakers and business travellers can continue to travel freely and enjoy the important benefits currently open to them post-Brexit.
ABTA’s report calls on the Government to focus on five central points during the negotiations:Maintain our ability to travel freely within Europe and beyond.
1 – Maintain our ability to travel freely within Europe and beyond
2 – Keep visa-free travel between the UK and the EU
3 – Protect valuable consumer rights
4 – Give UK businesses operational stability
5 – Seize opportunities for growth
The UK’s membership of the EU has given travellers many highly beneficial rights and protections, including visa-free travel and access to free or reduced cost healthcare via the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Compensation for delayed and cancelled flights and the EU Package Travel Directive, which protects people on package holidays, are also valuable consumer rights, which ABTA urges the Government to protect.
Safeguarding transport links, including air routes is vital, as the EU is the UK’s biggest market for overseas holidays and a critical market for businesses. Maintaining these links will be mutually beneficial as UK holidaymakers and business travellers represent an important market for EU member states.
ABTA believes Brexit opens up possibilities for new partnerships and relationships and the opportunity to fine tune our laws and regulations in relation to travel, for example reducing Air Passenger Duty to ensure the UK has world-class connectivity.
Click here to read the full report.