Updated: Trade urges Boris to avoid a no-deal Brexit

Travel trade associations have urged new prime minister Boris Johnson to secure a consensus in Parliament to avoid a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Johnson was elected the leader of the Conservative party yesterday and will succeed Theresa May as prime minister.

An Abta spokesperson said: “As soon as Boris Johnson takes office as prime minister, Abta will be writing to urge that he takes every effort to ensure a managed exit from the EU.

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“In particular, we’ll stress the need for contingency arrangements to be extended, and the importance of continued transport links, visa-free travel, and the ability for travel companies to post critical support staff in temporary roles throughout the EU.

“In addition, we will also engage with all newly appointed ministers across our main government departments to ensure that the industry’s full range of policy priorities, including those beyond Brexit, are fully understood.”

UKinbound chief executive Joss Croft said: “We’re eager to begin working with the new government and our industry partners to develop and implement this new strategy, which is underpinned by our tolerant, open and welcoming culture that Britain is renowned for globally.

“The next few months are a critical time for the UK and we urge the new prime minister to secure a consensus in parliament and with the EU to avoid a no-deal scenario, which could be very damaging for the tourism industry.”

Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, which has airport, airline and aviation services interests, said it will continue to make the case to the government that Southend airport can help “solve the capital’s airport capacity crunch”, extending an invitation to the airport to the new prime minister.

Jones added: “It is important that the next prime minister backs the UK aviation industry during his time in Number 10.”

Johnson, a former London mayor, has previously voiced strong opposition to the building of a third runway at Heathrow.

However, Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said: “Boris looks as though he’s moved into a good place on Heathrow expansion, and we need to keep him there.

“A new runway at Heathrow is the single biggest thing government can do to transform our international connections, which post-Brexit will be needed more than ever.

“We need a prime minister who understands the importance of aviation, and that we can’t stand still if we’re to maintain our standing as one of the principle aviation hubs in the world.”

Members of the UK travel trade also reacted to the news of the Johnson’s election.

Kuoni UK managing director Derek Jones said: “The country right now needs strong leadership and strong direction which we all hope Boris can deliver. But optimism is not a strategy and the mathematics in parliament hasn’t changed.

“He’s going need the diplomatic skills of Kofi Annan to pull this one off; skills which so far he’s kept well hidden.”

Meanwhile, Advantage consortium chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “We are pleased that the conservative leadership battle is now over and that focus can be placed back firmly on Brexit and the political agenda ahead.”

Johnson received 92,153 votes against Jeremy Hunt’s 46,656 votes.

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