Portuguese Secretary of State José Luís Carneiro reiterated today (July 24) his wish that the United Kingdom´s exit from the European Union should come with the agreement and safeguard of the rights of resident nationals in the country.

“We have as a principal not to comment on the political options within each country but our wish is that any way out is preceded by an agreement” said the minister at the 2019 Global Madeira Forum, a meeting of representatives of the Maderian communities that runs until Thursday in Funchal.

José Luís Carneiro stressed that the agreement to exit the United Kingdom from the European Union must safeguard the “fundamental rights” of Portuguese citizens and companies established in that country and vice versa.

On the day when the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took office, the Secretary of State for Communities recalled that about 81.000 applications for UK resident status have already been formalized. On the other hand, the Brexit Line, which has been operating since April, has already supported more than 25.000 Portuguese citizens in that country.

“It means that Portuguese citizens have internalised the importance of fulfilling the first citizen priority, that is, of applying for UK resident status because it is this status that will enable them to obtain fundamental social rights” he said.

The British institutions report that about 235.000 Portuguese are enrolled in the UK social security, but national authorities estimate that the community reaches 400.000 people.