Air travel organisers’ licences

Part of Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 21st March 2017.

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Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Shadow Minister (Transport) 2:00 pm, 21st March 2017

Welcome back to the Chair, Ms Ryan. When we adjourned for lunch this morning, we were concluding discussion about the possible impact of Brexit on the clause relating to ATOL— air travel organisers’ licence—and its relationship with the package travel directive 2015. The simple fact is that we do not know how Brexit will affect the issues covered by the clause. We do know that ATOL will still be here and that ATOL protection will be extended wherever holidays from companies established in the UK are sold abroad. We do not know how sales into the UK to UK holidaymakers by companies that are established in other EU member states will work.

We do not know precisely how that is going to work before Brexit, because they will be covered by the insolvency and other equivalent ATOL regulations that apply in that member state, but at least there will be the overarching framework of the package travel directive that we will be part of. After Brexit, who knows what will be the case? It may not be a problem, but we simply do not know.

That is why it is really important that, as part of the Brexit discussion, the UK Government look at this issue and try to look forward to what will happen to our relationship with the package travel directive. That could affect many thousands of UK holidaymakers. That is why it is important that the whole operation of ATOL and parallel protection regimes, with which we may or may not have a relationship such as the package travel directive, are reviewed properly at an appropriate time after the Bill is enacted.

Our amendment was inferior in some of the timescales it envisaged to that, so I am prepared to withdraw the amendment, but I am grateful to the Minister for his assurance that there will be a proper review of these regulations. With that, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.