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European Transport and Safety Organisations

Volume 624: debated on Thursday 30 March 2017

18. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on the UK’s membership of the (a) European Aviation Safety Agency, (b) Single European Sky air traffic movement research project and (c) European common aviation area. (909592)

I meet my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State of Exiting the European Union on a regular basis to discuss the UK’s exit. Ministers and officials in both Departments are working closely together to analyse the impact on the aviation industry after we leave the EU. We are carefully considering the implications for the UK’s future participation in the EASA, the Single European Sky initiative and the European common aviation area.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. The Prime Minister flippantly said that we will be leaving EU institutions, but not Europe, as if that was a good thing. EASA plays a crucial role in excluding from European airspace any aircraft or company that has poor safety records, safeguarding the security and wellbeing of people right across the continent. Now that the negotiations are under way, the Government have a duty to tell passengers in the aviation sector whether the UK will be a participant, or are they happy to compromise our economy and passenger wellbeing to achieve their Little Britain hard Brexit?

I must say to the hon. Lady, in the friendliest possible spirit, that there is no danger of her suffering ill health as a result of excessive hurry.

That may be, Mr Speaker, but the hon. Lady does speak an awful lot of nonsense. We are not pursuing a Little Britain strategy; we are looking to build our role in the world, and aviation will be an important part of that, which is why we are seeking to expand Heathrow airport—subject to the consultation happening at the moment. We will of course bring forward our proposals in due course to this House and to this country. Many of these international bodies go far beyond the European Union, and we will carry on playing a role in many international bodies that go far beyond the European Union.