Aerospace industry seeks Brexit reassurance


There is burgeon concern among key aerospace manufacturers about regulatory alignment and the power to bring products to market after Brexit.

The firms have aimed reassurance that the UK would continue to be a member of the European Aviation Refuge Agency after any Brexit deal.

They also warned that alignment with chemicals regulations is “full of life” for the sector.

The government said it would pursue agreements where inevitable.

The government is facing a backlash from key manufacturers amid growing industrial distress that Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiators have dropped prevailing commitments to participate in specific EU regulatory institutions after any Brexit transaction.

BBC News has obtained a letter from the aerospace industry body, the ADS, to the supervision asking for “reassurance” that “continued membership of the European Aviation Safeness Agency (EASA) and alignment with EU chemicals regulations” which “are fundamental for our sector”.

It said that “we received assurances from the previous [May] regime that the UK would seek to continue membership of or retain participation and bring pressure to bear on in EU agencies such as EASA”.

‘Serious risk’

The letter, dated this week, and sent to Committee Office minister Michael Gove and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay, expresses “business” that the PM has signalled a different approach.

Repeated attempts to get clarity on this circulate have not reassured the aerospace and other industries on this topic.

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It utters that “regulatory divergence would pose a serious risk to our sectors” wish result in “huge new costs and disruptions to many of our member companies”, and an “ineptness to shape safety rule making” which “will make it much more fussy to bring UK technology to market”.

In the existing political declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU, negotiated underneath Theresa May, there were specific references to ongoing close aid between a post-Brexit UK and three named regulatory agencies – the European Aviation Sanctuary Agency, the European Chemical Agency as well as the European Medicines Intervention.

The political declaration said “in this context the UK will consider aligning with [European] Splice rules in relevant areas”.

After the completion of negotiations, Mrs May confirmed to parliament that the partisan declaration meant for her negotiating a form of UK membership of these agencies which set industrial specifications and safety standards across the whole European single exchange.

The concerns are shared in other industries, which have asked for nearly the same reassurances, only to be told in recent weeks that the government is quest after a “best in class” free trade agreement, where the UK would set its own regulatory customaries.

The government has acknowledged that it wants to take the “level playing battleground” arrangements out of the political declaration that promised alignment on environmental, common, labour and some tax measures.

‘Extra funding’

These were also catch a glimpse ofed as crucial to ongoing industrial regulatory cooperation, and preventing the introduction of various types of checks on trade.

But the government fears such measures consented by Theresa May will restrict the ability of a post-Brexit government to strike pregnant trade deals with other countries such as the US.

A source close-matched to the negotiations acknowledged to the BBC that among changes being negotiated to the partisan declaration references to EU agencies could get scrapped.

Even as most of the over attention remains on Northern Ireland, the change in approach from the Johnson ministry suggests a significantly different, more diverged end point for Brexit for England, Scotland and Wales, than anticipated under Theresa May.

A government spokesperson said: “The UK is getting ready for Brexit on 31 October. We miss a deal, but we must be prepared for every eventuality and we have recently published substantial extra funding to support businesses to get ready.

“The government is pursuing a best in class FTA [free trade agreement] drawing on the precedent of prevailing EU FTA deals.

“We have been clear that we are committed to maintaining enormous standards after we leave the EU.

“Where necessary, the government will chase after additional agreements to cover areas outside traditional FTAs – for exempli gratia, on aviation and civil nuclear cooperation.”

A number of Labour MPs who say they wish to support a deal have already expressed a desire for a deal with not enough scope for regulatory divergence.

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