On Thursday, 7 February, the Saeima adopted a declaration on the rights of the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) in Latvia after the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (EU) or the so-called Brexit.
It is stated in the document developed by the Foreign Affairs Committee that the Saeima is closely following the process of Brexit, and underlines the importance of an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
“The aim of this Declaration is to avoid uncertainty caused by the potential no-deal Brexit scenario. We aim to reassure the UK citizens residing in Latvia and their family members that their residence, work and other conditions would remain unchanged, while we expect similar reassurances on the part of the UK regarding Latvian citizens residing there. We want to offer at least some sense of stability and security to people who are concerned about their future and their rights,” said Rihards Kols, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
It is stated in the Declaration that the UK is and will remain an important partner and ally of Latvia, and therefore we wish to maintain very close cooperation, especially in such areas as civic rights, security, defence, foreign affairs, economy, mobility and education.
The Saeima also confirms in the Declaration that the UK citizens lawfully residing in Latvia will be offered favourable residence and working permit conditions even in case of the no-deal Brexit on 29 March 2019.
According to the Declaration, Latvia expects the UK to reciprocate in terms of ensuring favourable conditions to Latvian nationals residing and/or working in the UK. Furthermore, the Saeima urges the Cabinet of Ministers to draft amendments to the relevant legal acts in order to adapt to the changes to be brought by Brexit.
The Saeima urges the Government to draft amendments which would set forth a transition period, i.e. the UK citizens who have lawfully resided in Latvia before 29 March 2019 would have to re-register their residence permits by 31 December 2020 even in case of the no-deal Brexit on 29 March 2019. Likewise, the UK citizens who have lawfully resided in Latvia before 29 March 2019 will receive favourable treatment in regard to their rights and obligations in the area of social security.
Saeima Press Service