ABTA boss outlines issues with talks, writes Sam Ballard.
Mark Tanzer, the CEO of ABTA, has expressed the industry’s frustration at the lack of progress being made over Brexit.
Speaking at the opening of ABTA’s Travel Matters event in central London, Tanzer said: “The UK’s future as a trading nation is one of the central Brexit issues. I’m sure many in this room share my frustration at the lack of progress, or clarity, in the Brexit process. A year ago, I set out a number of areas in which we needed to see urgent progress – aviation access, movement of key workers, VAT and consumer rights.
“Twelve months on, and we still don’t have any clarity on any of these. On aviation access, probably the most critical issue, the government has said that it ‘fully expects’ that a deal will be done before March 2019. The industry, along with the rest of the nation, is holding them to account on this.”
The government should listen to those who have knowledge on their side, rather than just ideology
“It is right that businesses are speaking out against a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU, or a ‘cliff-edge’. The attacks on business from senior politicians show how frayed relations have become. We are surely approaching a crunch time, when hard choices will have to be made, and the government should listen to those who have knowledge on their side, rather than just ideology.”
Tanzer added that looking back to 12 months ago, one of the most pressing issues with the industry, particularly the association’s tour operating members was the fight against false sickness claims.
“The combined effects of ABTA’s industry campaign – Stop Sickness Scams – and some well publicised criminal prosecutions have slowed the growth in claims,” he said.
“The solution to the problem in the long-term is legislative, and we are delighted with the support that we have received from the Ministry of Justice – and the Foreign Secretary – to bring overseas sickness claims within a fixed cost regime.”