The president of the European Commission gave a speech today where he said:

The measures we and the Member States have taken will mitigate the worst impact of a “no-deal” scenario. The protection offered is real. The measures will make sure that EU and UK citizens can continue to live and work where they are at the moment. They make sure that planes can take off and land.

Question: Which concrete pieces of EU legislation (or other official documents) does the bolded sentence refer to?

I assume it must refer to a unilateral decision by the EU27 to allow British-registered aircraft to keep flying to/from EU airports. What I dare not make assumptions about is e.g. whether it is conditional on reciprocity. The UK politicians don't look like they have their act sufficiently together to have enacted reciprocal rules yet.

[Yes, this is a real question. I'm trying to decide whether to risk scheduling a business trip to England at the end of April, or keep waiting for more clarity. If there's a unilateral pledge by the EU27 that would not be canceled by lack of immediate reciprocity, booking BA tickets might feel reasonably safe. I believe the question to be reasonably answerable, since it concerns rules that, unless Juncker is a complete liar, must already exist -- not guesswork about the future].

1 Answer 1


The most likely candidate is the Regulation on common rules ensuring basic air connectivity with regard to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union. This sets out the EU's position over air travel in the case of a no deal Brexit, which amounts to freezing the situation at the state in 2018 for at least 7 months, with most provisions holding until 30th March 2020, or an actual deal.

I'm not an expert on EU legalese, but based on my own reading and media coverage, this is unilateral, but with suitable provisions for the Commission to act quickly to revoke it in the unlikely situation that the UK's unilateral declaration did something unexpected like closing UK airspace to EU carriers.

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    Yes, that seems to be it. What you have linked to seems to be a draft product of the EU decision procedure, but it was later (25 March) enacted as actual EU law as Regulation (EU) 2019/502. Thanks for locating this! Apr 3, 2019 at 17:44

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