Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has said that in the event of a hard Brexit, the airline may have to cease ticket sales in the UK at the end of 2018 if no bilateral aviation agreement has been worked out between Britain and the EU before the former leaves the latter's trading bloc.
Ryanair has already decided where it would move its 85 British based aircraft should such a situation arise, but none of them will be repositioned to Dublin.
O'Leary believes that, "The UK are going to get pushed to the edge of the cliff and then they're going to get pushed over it." He stated that Ryanair doesn't "see how you could negotiate a bilateral agreement within that period of time" and added that the airline doesn't think that "there will be interim arrangements because it will take forever to get it through 27 European parliaments."
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The Irish Independent reports that while O'Leary asserted that not selling tickets in the UK post-2018 is the "least desirable outcome", it is a potential scenario. The Ryanair chief executive proclaimed that the airline will need to know three months ahead of Brexit's enforcement whether a new aviation agreement has been put in place that would allow it to maintain its operations in the UK.
O'Leary then went on to say, "People should not underestimate quite how difficult this is going to be. I don't think there's much appetite on the European side to help out the British, much as we would wish them to do so. The UK is going to suffer very severely if they continue down this road."