The UK Parliament has rejected a Brexit deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May for a second time. Two more votes on different Brexit scenarios are scheduled for the remainder of the week.
CNBC reports that the deal was defeated by 149 votes. Immediately after the vote was held, May promised two additional votes regarding Brexit this week. One, scheduled for Wednesday, will be on a “no deal” Brexit, in which the UK will leave the European Union (EU) without any agreement in place. The second, to be held on Thursday, will be on whether or not to request an extension on the deadline by which the UK must leave the EU. That deadline is currently March 29.
Despite the difficulties in reaching an agreement on Brexit, lawmakers have taken steps to ensure that flights will continue to operate after the UK leaves the EU, even in a no-deal scenario. The UK and the EU signed a deal to allow flights to continue during a no-deal Brexit earlier this month, and in November, the UK and the United States signed an “open skies” agreement that will govern air travel between the two countries post-Brexit. That deal replaces the existing aviation agreement between the EU and the U.S. with respect to the UK, guaranteeing the continuation of transatlantic travel routes.
Travelers, too, have shown signs that they will be mostly undeterred post-Brexit. In a new study of UK travelers by MMGY Global, Millennials were particularly optimistic, planning to take 40 percent more trips this year and the majority believing that any impact on passport control lines, exchange rates and airline fares would be more positive than negative.
Additionally, recent research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) suggests that the travel and tourism industry could see major growth post-Brexit, potentially helping to drive the UK’s economic recovery. That is because the UK travel industry’s growth rate in 2018, at 1 percent, was well below the worldwide average of 3.9 percent, which the WTTC attributed to uncertainty over the Brexit deal. Since the growth rate has been so low, there is a great deal of potential for growth once Brexit details are finalized.