I can confirm to my hon. Friend that the Government are working closely with the aviation sector to ensure that it continues to be a major success story for the UK economy. Ministers and officials in our Department and in the Department for Transport have met widely with representatives of the sector since the referendum in 2016, covering the full spectrum of issues affecting the industry.
I thank the Minister for that answer. Given that the European Aviation Safety Agency is very important to the aerospace and aviation industries, when will it be discussed in the Brexit negotiations, as all users, such as Rolls-Royce in Derbyshire, want clarity?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The UK has been and is very influential within the EASA, and UK expertise has contributed significantly to the high standards of aviation safety in Europe. It is the Government’s intention to maintain consistently high standards of aviation safety once we have left the EU. We are considering carefully all the implications arising from our exit from the EU, including the question of continued participation in the EASA. This will be a matter for negotiations, and we are looking forward to opening discussions on the future partnership as soon as possible.
The Commission has made it clear that UK carriers will no longer enjoy flying rights under any agreement to which the EU is party. With one UK airline already talking about relocating, what are the Government doing to protect hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs in the UK?
As I have said, we are working closely with the aviation industry. We look forward to discussing this issue as part of the future partnership discussions with the EU, and it is not right to rule issues out of the discussions.