The proximity of the end of the transition period to ‘Brexit’ and the lack of progress in the negotiation between London and Brussels constitutes “an alert for the Government” namely for a renewed “attention to citizens”, said Ana Paula Zacarias, the Secretary of State for European Affairs.

“We can see how many citizens have not signed up yet, how many should have done it and haven’t done it, why didn’t they do it? We must now be more objective and go in search of more of those citizens who are outside the normal system”, she added.

Ana Paula Zacarias replied to Deputy Carlos Gonçalves (PSD), who expressed concern about “a fringe of Portuguese”, corresponding to “almost 100,000”, who have not yet registered and the lack of response from the Portuguese consulate regarding the need for Portuguese documents to be “up to date”.

Both Carlos Gonçalves and Isabel Oneto (PS) questioned the Secretary of State about the revision of the contingency plan for the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, which Ana Paula Zacarias announced on 16 September.

The official replied that this is an “update of the plan”, “now revised in view of the current situation”, and highlighted the need in particular for companies to prepare, with or without agreement, in the area of customs rights.

“Companies that export fresh products to the UK need to prepare, because it is plausible that there could be disruptions here or there in the market and in transportation”, she warned, stressing that, with or without an agreement, “there must always be an adaptation [... ] from Portuguese exporting companies to the United Kingdom ”.