Another Brexit deal could be close, according to the latest reports from negotiations between officials from the European Union (EU) and the UK.
“The basic foundations of an agreement are ready and theoretically tomorrow we could accept this deal with Great Britain,” European Council President Donald Tusk told the Agence France-Presse, according to CNN. “Theoretically, in seven or eight hours everything should be clear.”
The Washington Post reports that Britain and Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared willing to make major concessions during this latest round of talks, which once again focused on how to preserve an open border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – something many commentators have seen as key to preserving the peace of the Good Friday Agreement. At the same time, any new deal would have to be approved by the UK Parliament, a requirement which eluded Johnson’s predecessor, former Prime Minister Theresa May.
In terms of travel, both the United States and the European Union have deals in place to allow flights to and from the UK to continue, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. At the same time, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has had an impact on the UK’s travel industry. Brexit uncertainty was one of the factors blamed for the recent collapse of iconic UK travel brand Thomas Cook, along with a decline in the value of the pound (also partially due to Brexit uncertainty), changing booking habits and unusually hot weather that discouraged Northern Europeans from traveling. The company filed for insolvency and ceased operations early last week, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers and prompting the UK’s largest repatriation effort since World War II. Following Thomas Cook's collapse, all of the company’s UK storefronts were acquired by independent UK travel agency Hays Travel.
The Brexit deadline remains set for October 31.