Michael O'Leary: Flights to and from the UK could be temporarily halted after Brexit

Update 1pm: Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has said there is a remote possibility that flights to the UK may be suspended during the Brexit negotiations.

Mr O'Leary said if the UK leaves the Open Skies arrangement a new deal will have to be agreed.

He says if they leave the current arrangement it could leave passengers temporarily without flights.

“Then they've got to put in place some bilateral agreement with the European Union and it is going to be very hard to see how a bilateral gets put in place with an 18 month timeframe. So there is a possibility, unlikely but a possibility, that there may be no flights to and from the UK after March ‘19 for a three or six month period.

"That may be one of the things that shocks the British electorate into realising, ‘Oh my God, what have we done here?’.”

Minister for Transport Shane Ross referred to the Government as 'an asylum' during a speech earlier.

Addressing the National Civil Aviation Forum the Minister also said he was 'taking over the asylum that is the transport sector'.

He singled out comments made by Ryanair's Michael O'Leary during his opening address this morning.

“One of your members did say at some stage that independents were lunatics who couldn’t be trusted with ministerial portfolios. Well, I say to the chief executive of Ryanair you know what lunatics do, they take over asylums and I’m very glad today to have taken over this particular asylum. Looking around me, it doesn’t seem to be in terribly bad shape.”

Earlier: Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has said it will not matter who the leader of Fine Gael is when Brexit negotiations start.

The businessman says Ireland will not be listened to regardless of whether it is Enda Kenny or someone else representing the country.

"It really doesn't matter whether it's Enda or somebody else in there doing the Irish negotiations, really Ireland are not going to be listened to," O'Leary said.

"It's largely going to be driven by the bigger countries - Germany, France, Italy - in a face-off against the British.

"We should be much more muscular in defending our own interests."

He believes Brexit poses a risk to the aviation industry, and he foresees a return to a hard border with the North.

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