Today’s Brexit delay decision to avoid the UK crashing out of the European Union without a deal has been greeted as “good news’ by Abta.

The six-month delay to Brexit to October 31 was agreed in the early hours of the morning following lengthy talks in Brussels.

Prime minister Theresa May said the UK would seek to leave as soon as possible with a deal that is in the national interest.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Unless a deal is agreed earlier, which would come with a standstill transition period, the UK will now not depart the EU before the end of October 2019.

“This is good news, and it should give people total confidence to book their holidays or business travel plans, knowing that nothing will change in the short-term.

“It also gives travel businesses some respite from immediate no-deal planning, but with no-deal still possible in the autumn, uncertainty remains about the future.

“It is essential that government and MPs use this additional time to find a solution, and one that avoids a no-deal exit.

“During this time, Abta will continue to provide advice and support to members to help them with their Brexit preparations, lobby the government on the priorities for the travel industry and work to support consumer confidence.”

Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng was quoted as saying the government is still aiming to get a Brexit deal through the Commons before May 22, when European Parliament elections take place.

Reacting to the new autumn deadline, the CBI said: “This new extension means that an imminent economic crisis has been averted, but it needs to mark a fresh start. More of the same will just mean more chaos this autumn.”

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