British Ambassador: No change for Latvians in UK... for now

Take note – story published 6 years ago

As the United Kingdom triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29, the country is set to leave the EU. Latvian radio asked British Ambassador Sarah Cowley about the current message of the British government to Latvians living there, as well as her take on how the negotiation process might unfold.

There are rumors and doubts in the UK's Latvian community regarding their fates. Can you assure them, or send a message to them regarding their future status? What should the people who are planning to move there within the next few years expect? 

The UK absolutely understands that this is a very important issue for Latvians living, studying, working and travelling to the UK, and indeed for other EU nationals. We want to give people certainty as early as we possibly can. We would have liked to have done so already, but that wasn't possible. But now that the negotiations are going to formally start, we hope that the EU will agree to come to a very early decision on this, as our top priority is to give people certainty.

Until the day the UK actually leaves the EU, there is no change for any Latvian, or any other European national, in the UK. The UK remains bound by the existing rights and obligations right up until the day we leave, so there are no changes today because Article 50 has been triggered.

We fully appreciate that this is an important issue for people, and we want to get it resolved as quickly as we can.

(Listen to the full interview covering topics like the UK's preferred course of the EU-British negotiations, as well as trade, the potential Scottish referendum, and the possibility (there's none) over a second people's vote on Brexit.)

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