RIGA - A good Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union (EU), which is still possible, is Latvia’s priority, Latvian Ambassador to the UK Baiba Braze told LETA.
The ambassador said that 19 representatives of diaspora organizations and media took part in a meeting of the Latvian community’s organizations hosted by the embassy on Saturday. In the first part of the meeting, the representatives of the Latvian organizations shared information on what has been accomplished during the past year and plans for next year.
In the second part of the meeting, the participants discussed Brexit-related issues, with a representative of the European Commission’s Representation to the UK also taking part in the meeting to explain in detail Latvians’ rights in the UK and various possible Brexit scenarios, Breze said.
“As far as Latvia is concerned, the priority is to reach an agreement that would be advantageous to both sides. As Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) has said, 95 percent of the exit agreement have been agreed upon, and it would guarantee EU citizens all their rights in the UK. Work is ongoing on a regulation providing for a five-year residence period with a number of technical details. A number of authorities are cooperative and willing to provide simplified digital solutions that would allow those EU citizens that are legally working in the UK and can prove this fact to stay in this country,” said Braze.
However, if the UK and the EU fail to reach the agreement, the situation for the EU citizens residing in UK will become uncertain. “The UK government has said that it will guarantee EU citizens their currently existing rights. But it remains to be seen how it will be implemented in legislation and what it means practically,” the Latvian ambassador said.
The third part of the meeting focused on remigration issues, as well as Latvia’s Diaspora Law and work opportunities in Latvia.