As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, uncertainty is still very much the biggest challenge for those speculating about the impacts of the decision.
The Brexit campaign centred on border control, and the promise that the UK would regain control of her borders, yet as the debates continue, the only certainty that remains is that the impact on border control will be determined by the UK’s position within the European Economic Area, and any decisions made on free movement of people and goods.
With little more than a year to go, the challenges that may be faced need to be addressed now, if major delays or flight cancellations are to be avoided.
Although a ‘business as usual’ approach is being discussed, it is impossible to judge the true impact until firm decisions have been made. Speculation states that the following additional measures and challenges may appear:
- Additional clearance approval – this is likely to occur for UK citizens travelling throughout the EU
- Visa completion – a likely addition for citizens on both sides of the border
- Ground delays – these will be likely, as additional border control clearance processes are carried out
- Longer queues – these are inevitable, at least during the early stages, as pressure increases on border control personnel
- Increased security checks on cargo and goods – the removal of tariff-free trade agreements will inevitably increase the time spent on checks. Currently, paperwork checks are seamless and minimal under the EU guidelines
- Longer waiting times for cargo trucks – an inevitable by-product of additional security and paperwork checks. Current infrastructure could struggle with additional pressure
- Rising costs – again, inevitably, additional resources, time and regulatory approval will drive up the cost of moving goods and passengers around the UK and the EU
Although these challenges could pose major problems for the countries on either side of the UK border, the introduction of advanced technology and solutions could help to minimise the impact of additional security measures. The latest advancements and applications are designed to maintain maximum efficiency, while ensuring compliance at regulatory level.
There is little doubt that the aviation industry, travellers and manufacturers will feel the initial effects of Brexit, taking a hit to infrastructural demand. It remains to be seen whether decisions can be made quickly to enable operators to put the solutions in place in time.