“Rights of Portuguese in UK enshrined in law”

in News · 21-02-2019 10:34:00 · 0 Comments
“Rights of Portuguese in UK enshrined in law”

Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs revealed on Monday that his UK counterpart had informed him that the parliament in London has already approved the law enshrining the rights of European Union citizens residing in the UK, irrespective of whether there is a Brexit deal or not.

After a meeting of the European Union member states’ foreign ministers in Brussels, Augusto Santos Silva noted that he had had a bilateral meeting with Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, who informed him that “the British Parliament has already approved the law that enshrines the rights of European citizens living in the United Kingdom on 29 March this year, in accordance with the terms agreed and set out in the exit agreement” reached between the UK government and the EU, though not ratified by parliament.

“Therefore, irrespective of whether or not there is an agreement on Brexit, the United Kingdom has already decided that the rights of European citizens living in the United Kingdom on 29 March 2019, the date of Brexit, will be fully respected under the terms that had been negotiated”, Santos Silva said, adding that the rights of citizens “was the number one issue for Portugal”.

Santos Silva said that he was informed of this fact when he indicated to Hunt that Portugal’s government was preparing to present “briefly” in parliament in Lisbon draft legislation to confirm the rights of UK citizens living In Portugal.

The minister said that he had assured his UK counterpart that, “from a political point of view” the law would be “approved by a very big majority”, so “it mattered that the United Kingdom should do the same thing, that it transform the policy paper that guarantees reciprocity into law.”

Hunt replied, according to Santos Silva, that “we have already approved it.” That information was news to the Portuguese minister, he said, but it could only be because of his ignorance. “So this point has been resolved, and that is very important because it was the number one question for Portugal.”

This follows a call made by British Prime Minister Teresa May to her Portuguese counterpart António Costa to discuss changes that need to be made to the UK’s EU exit agreement.

A spokeswoman for Theresa May told Lusa News Agency the telephone conversation with António Costa is part of a series of contacts made by May with European leaders regarding Brexit.

In recent days, Theresa May has also reportedly phoned French President Emmanuel Macron, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, and received the head of the government of Malta, Joseph Muscat, at Downing Street.


Be the first to comment on this article
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.