Tourists could be warned not to book holidays after March 29 in case there is no deal Brexit under contingency plans discussed by officials
- Claims a no deal contingency plan will advise people not to book summer trips
- Proposed plan was pencilled in for Cabinet talks as no deal planning increased
- Downing Street has strenuously denied the warning will be issued to the public
Tourists could be warned not to book holidays later than March 29 under a contingency plan for no deal Brexit discussed by officials, it was claimed today.
Amid fears a sudden no deal could leave planes grounded and the ports gridlocked, the idea of a warning was due to have been discussed by Cabinet ministers, according to reports.
The proposal provoked fears inside Government of a devastating blow to travel firms – some of which could be left bankrupt if bookings stop. Officials considered whether the taxpayer could underwrite bookings.
The Cabinet is expected to have a major debate about no deal planning when it meets on Tuesday morning amid chaos over whether Theresa May’s deal can pass.
Several ministers are warning the PM to switch to a ‘managed no deal’ where a series of specific deals to cover the most extreme scenarios are agreed – ensuring planes can fly and crucial goods like drugs can be imported.
Tourists could be warned not to book holidays later than March 29 under a contingency plan for no deal Brexit discussed by officials, it was claimed today
Downing Street denied the warning would be issued today. Theresa May is pictured in Maidenhead today with Blitz the dog
The Sunday Times said today as a further contingency families could have been warned against booking summer holidays.
The idea was discussed by officials with at least one minister, the paper said.
Asked about the advice, a Downing Street spokesman insisted: ‘This is categorically untrue.’
The claim was not denied to the Sunday Times, with a spokesman insisting Downing Street does not comment on leaks.
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An ABTA spokesman said: “Number 10 has said that the content of the report in the Sunday Times is categorically untrue.
‘The European Commission has said that even in a no-deal scenario flights will still operate between the UK and EU, and a visa is not required.
‘ABTA is providing holidaymakers and travellers with advice about Brexit and travel, including on pet passports and driving licences.’
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary warned in September of the risks of a no deal Brexit grounding flights.
He predicted potential political ‘chaos’ in Britain and said if the UK crashed out, flights would need to be cancelled by late February.
He said: ‘We are selling tickets between the UK and Europe … on flights that may not take place.’
He added: ‘There are going to be real and serious consequences, both in the UK economy and in the European economy.
‘From my narrow perspective all I want to see is a continuation of open skies and free flights, cheap flights.’
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary warned in September of the risks of a no deal Brexit grounding flights
Brussels confirmed this week UK citizens will have to purchase a seven Euro security check known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) when travelling to the continent after a no deal Brexit.
Under the system, travellers would have to apply online by providing personal information and passport details, before noting the first country they are travelling to and answering background questions.
The ETIAS regime will apply to nationals visiting from almost all non-EU countries – an estimated 39million people a year.
The registration information will then be checked against EU crime-fighting databases.
While most decisions will take just minutes, problematic cases could lead to further requests before being finally answered within four weeks.
The EU commission previously announced that anyone staying less than 90 days will be able to visit freely as long as the UK reciprocates.
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