Saeima adopts Declaration on post-Brexit UK citizens' status

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On Thursday, February 7, the Latvian Saeima adopted a Declaration on the Rights of Citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Latvia after the so-called "Brexit" takes place, currently scheduled for March 29.

The declaration was approved by 87 votes to zero. 

"With this declaration, we want to eliminate any confusion that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union without clear conditions - to prove that the conditions of residence, work and other conditions applicable to UK citizens and their family members residing in Latvia would not change, nor would they expect the same from the United Kingdom for Latvian citizens residing there. In this uncertainty, we want people to feel as stable and safe as possible about their rights and future,” said Rihards Kols, Chairman of the Saeima's Foreign Affairs Committee.

The United Kingdom is and will remain an important partner and ally of Latvia, and as close cooperation as possible will continue in the future, especially in matters of citizens' rights, security, defense, foreign affairs, economy, mobility and education, the declaration says.

"The Saeima of the Republic of Latvia confirms that Latvia will provide the UK citizens legally residing in Latvia with the most favorable conditions for their stay and work , even if the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union on 29 March 2019 will be without agreement," the Declaration states.

"At the same time, Latvia expects an equally favorable attitude of the UK towards Latvian nationals in that country," it adds.

The Saeima also calls on the Cabinet of Ministers to prepare the necessary amendments to legislation in order to adapt to the changes expected after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU.

Legislative changes for UK citizens who were legally resident in Latvia up to March 29 this year should set a transition period for the re-registration of residence rights until 31 December 2020, even if the UK withdraws from the EU on 29 March 2019 without agreement. British citizens who have been legally resident in Latvia until March 29 this year will continue to enjoy rights and obligations of individuals in the area of ​​social security, the decision said.


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