Air transport is one of the sectors most affected by the UK`s withdrawal from the EU, as air services (including aviation rights) are excluded from the WTO`s general trade in services agreement, meaning that there is no alternative in the absence of an agreement between the parties. The fact that the EU emergency rules were published on 10 December 2020 will therefore be a relief for many airlines. It has many similarities to the one published in March 2019 to ensure basic connectivity in the event of a « no deal ». The details of this emergency legislation were summarized in a previous Article by Legalflyer. PART 2 Implementation of the Northern Ireland Electricity Withdrawal Agreement from 2021 The « Basic Regulation » under Regulation (EC) No. 2009/2003 Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008, under which EAS intervenes, provides that EESA is open to the participation of third European countries (such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), provided they are contracting parties to the Chicago Convention and have concluded agreements with the EU under which they adopt and apply EU security rules. At this time, it is not clear whether the British government intends to make the United Kingdom a third member of EESA. In the political declaration, the EU and the UK agree only to a broader commitment to explore the possibility of UK « cooperation » with EU agencies, including EESA.
However, the extent and means of this cooperation are not explained. In November 2018, the UK reached an agreement to join the WTO`s Public Procurement Agreement (GPA) after Brexit as an independent member (the UK`s participation in the GPA is linked to its accession to the EU before Brexit). In February 2019, the GPA parties gave their final approval for the UK`s accession after the UK withdrew from the EU. During the transposition period, the UK will continue to be treated as an EU member state for the purposes of the GPA and will itself be an « observer » when it joins the GPA. This is an important development for the UK rail industry – membership means that most public tenders must be open to companies from other GPA economies (including the EU as a member and other developed economies such as the US, Canada, Japan and Switzerland). British companies will continue to be able to tender for public procurement in other GPA countries, including EU member states. Eu negotiating guidelines believe that such an agreement should ensure a basic level of connectivity, but the UK is committed to meeting « fair competition conditions » obligations, including competition, to ensure access to EU markets and to preserve the EU`s internal air services market. They stress that the UK should not benefit from aviation rights to the same extent as EU member states. Following the extension of the Article 50 withdrawal procedure, the UK remains a party to the EU ETS, despite the suspension of the UK`s participation in the `relevant processes`.