Saeima committee urges approval of declaration for protection of UK citizens’ rights in Latvia

Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee has prepared a decision project for the protection of rights of Britain’s and Northern Ireland’s citizens in Latvia after Brexit. This decision project will be submitted to the Saeima for approval soon, as confirmed by the parliament’s press-service.

«With this declaration we want to prevent possible problems that could surface if UK leaves the EU without clear conditions, as well as to prove that UK citizens and their family members will be applied with the same rules and regulations as they are applied with now. We also expect our partners in the UK to do the same for Latvian citizens. We want people to feel safe and secure about their rights and their future in this unclear time,» says Foreign Affairs Committee’s chairman Rihards Kols.

The committee’s prepared decision project mentions that the Saeima closely follows developments with Brexit.

UK remains an important partner and ally for Latvia. This is why we plan to ensure a close cooperation as possible, especially in regards to matters covering residents’ rights, security, defence, foreign affairs, economics, mobility and education, as stated in the declaration project.

As stated in the document, Saeima affirms that for UK citizens living in Latvia legally, residence and work conditions will be kept as favourable as possible even if UK leaves the EU in March 2019 without an agreement.

The declaration project mentions that Latvia also expects a similar gesture from UK in regards to Latvian citizens. The document also mentions the Saeima will ask the Cabinet of Ministers to prepare amendments for relevant legislative acts to adapt to changes after Brexit.

Amendments to legislative acts provide for UK citizens who will have stayed legally in Latvia before the end of March 2019 to be given a transition period for re-registration of residence rights until 31 December 2020 even if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement.

Kols says the Foreign Affairs Committee to ask adding this declaration to the agenda of the Saeima’s 31 January meeting.

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