Abta hosted a ministerial roundtable on Brexit on Monday, October 17.
It was attended by Robin Walker MP, the parliamentary under secretary of state for Exiting the European Union, who Abta says, has primary responsibility for considering the interests of the UK’s tourism industry in Brexit.
Abta members attended, including representatives from tour operators and cruise companies. They submitted specific points or questions for discussion during the meeting. However, the details of what was discussed can not be reported.
Topics covered included market access and protecting our transport links with the European Union, across all transport modes; future border and visa arrangements for travellers; tax arrangements and cross border operations; employment rights, both for EU workers within the UK and for staff posted across the EU; and no-deal preparations for businesses and consumers.
The prime minister will be attending a European Council summit on October 17-18, where further discussions about Brexit will take place.
Mark Tanzer, Abta chief executive, who chaired the meeting, said: “We have had regular, constructive, dialogue with officials within the Department for Exiting the European Union over the past two years about the priorities for the travel industry, and it’s encouraging that many of these have been recognised, such as aviation access and visa-free travel.
“But there are still issues which need to be addressed, including around tax and posting workers abroad.
“This is a timely opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail, and gain an understanding from the Government about the next steps of the process.
“While both the UK government and the EU have said they wish to agree a deal, this meeting also provides a platform to discuss the government’s preparations for a no-deal scenario.
“However, the industry’s message is clear. We need an outcome that ensures continuity and stability, as well as to protect the enhanced consumer freedoms and rights that have been secured over the last 25 years.”
Walker said: "It was a pleasure to meet with tour operators today.
“Tourism is of huge importance to the UK economy, generating £66 billion a year, and I was pleased to update attendees on the work we are doing to support the industry.”