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Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the objectives are for the second stage of the EU/US aviation negotiations; and what plans he has in the eventuality of no agreement being concluded by November 2010. (146237)

European Transport Ministers have given the European Commission a mandate to secure a full transatlantic open aviation area. The UK wants to see, in particular, further liberalisation of market access, including US ownership and control rules, while further enhancing co-operation in areas such as environmental protection, security, consumer protection, and the elimination of state subsidies.

The stage 1 agreement sets out a clear timetable for the signature of a second stage deal. We hope that it will be possible to reach an acceptable agreement within this timescale. But the EU has already agreed, in its decision on the signature of the agreement, that in the event this timetable is not met, a process will automatically be set in hand to suspend traffic rights for US air carriers.