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UK to withdraw from EU safety regulator after Brexit

written by Dylan Nicholson | March 9, 2020

The UK will withdraw from the EU’s safety regulator at the end of the year, with powers reverting to the country’s Civil Aviation Authority.

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the change will come into effect at the end of the Brexit transition period in December and commence with a slow withdrawal process for gradual change in regulations.

British Transport Minister Grant Shapps

“As you would expect from an independent nation, we can’t be subject to the rules and laws made by somebody else, so we can’t accept rules from the EU commission and we can’t accept rulings in terms of court cases from the European Court of Justice or anybody else, any more than the US would,” Secretary Shapps told Aviation Week in Washington.

“A lot of expertise is UK expertise. A lot of the key leading lights were Brits.”

The announcement has been met with disappointment from aerospace trade body ADS.

Its chief executive, Paul Everitt, said, “We have been clear that continued participation in EASA [European Union Aviation Safety Agency] is the best option to maintain the competitiveness of our £36 billion aerospace industry.

“UK influence in EASA  helps make our industry attractive to the investment it needs to be home to the development of a new generation of advanced aircraft technology.”

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Secretary Shapps said the UK intended to be “particularly forward-leaning in technology and automation”.

He cited urban air transport as an area where the country’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, could develop new types of safety certifications.

“We’ll make sure our legislative framework is in a great place to enable those kinds of organisations to excel in the UK market,” he said.

Two of the UK’s biggest aerospace exporters, Rolls Royce and Airbus, have also emphasised the need for continued membership of EASA.

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