The majority of Aito members want the UK to remain in the European Union with the association of independent travel firms calling for an end to Brexit “misery and uncertainty”.
A new poll of members found that more than 88% want to stay part of the EU, a slight decline from the 91% recorded at the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016.
While “remain in Europe” is still the key wish, a soft Brexit is also accepted by a good number as a potential way forward, according to Aito. Others seek Article 50 to be revoked, which the government has stated that it will not do.
The poll attracted a response from 64% of Aito’s 120 members. The results emerged as the UK is set to leave the EU on Friday amid ongoing cross-party political talks and prime minister Theresa May’s bid to delay Brexit again until June 30.
Aito chairman Says Derek Moore said: “The results of the Aito Brexit survey held with our members cannot be said to be surprising, in that the majority of members wanted to remain, as did most of the travel industry.
“What impressed me, however, was the number of senior staff, m-ds and owners who answered our survey. Far more of them responded than is usually the case; this is a clear sign of the fury felt by so many members at the way the politicians of this fair land of ours have managed to upset the voters, the EU in Brussels, and indeed each other.
“It is a measure of the despair felt by most members that they now really just want to get on with it, almost irrespective of what the end result of the Brexit process is.
“The latest statement by our prime minister, that she now plans to ask for a delay to Brexit until the end of June, simply heaps more misery and uncertainty on the operators specialising in European holidays, for no good reason.
“When we are asked for ‘the view of members’ about a topic, we generally have to say that our members are such a broad church, with so many disparate views, that we can’t give an opinion on behalf of the whole association.
“But this time, much to the discredit of the political tribes at Westminster, the farce played out has welded our very independent-minded members into some sort of conformity.
“We urge Mrs May and our Members of Parliament to give us all a break and agree matters pronto, so that British holidaymakers can book their holidays in Europe in the sure knowledge, as confirmed already by the EU and our government, that flights will continue as normal and that delays on arrival at their European destination will certainly be no worse than those we have all become accustomed to on occasion at UK airports.
“Our hosts at Britain’s beloved European destinations are keen to welcome their loyal British customers back to enjoy their renowned hospitality, great value for money and superb weather.”