For example the US is not in EASA, and neither is most of the known universe, yet things seem to work…
If this really is a good example? EASA has basically banned domestic flights with FAA licenses – a rule that is only temporarily put on hold because EASA realized that in some areas there are still so many commercial pilots with FAA licenses that enforcement of that rule would harm the industry.
Would we believe that the risk of “loosing the UK pilots” is perceived as equally big thread?
EASA has basically banned domestic flights with FAA licenses
It was a daft and 100% politically motivated (anti US) move which AFAICS was done to force the hand of the US to sign the FAA-EASA treaty which hasn’t got very far anyway…
No; I don’t think private pilots are a big card to play. The entire European PPL/IR community (that is actually active) would fit into one big room What will determine the shape of any UK-EASA treaty might be stuff like aviation component manufacture, airline pilot training, etc. But often in these negotiations they end up playing the most diverse things off against each other e.g. zero Belgian potato tariffs might get played against a treaty on Brussels accepting UK licenses. People close to the aforementioned FAA-EASA treaty have repeatedly reported that it is being held up by unrelated and huge stuff like the EU wanting EU airlines to be allowed to do US domestic flights, which is political dynamite which no US leader will accept.