On 9 February in London, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, to discuss the upcoming Brexit process and share views on future cooperation between the United Kingdom and the EU after Brexit.
Before launching the talks on the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, all parties should clearly map out the interests and principles which will set the framework for the withdrawal negotiations, namely, what the issues are that we shall discuss, said Edgars Rinkēvičs at the meeting. He emphasised that the talks between the United Kingdom and the 27 EU Member States can only take place when the formal withdrawal process is initiated under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will launch a two-year timespan to negotiate the UK’s exit from the bloc of 28 nations.
Latvia respects the British citizens’ choice to withdraw from the European Union; nevertheless, we expect that the interests of Latvian nationals lawfully residing in the United Kingdom will also be observed after Brexit, Edgars Rinkēvičs said.
The Latvian Foreign Minister and the British Secretary of State agreed that the interests of Latvian citizens and non-citizens in Britain and the interests of British nationals in the European Union after Brexit will be a matter of priority in the Brexit negotiations. People legally residing in the United Kingdom should not be subject to any discrimination, Edgars Rinkēvičs asserted.
At the same time, the Foreign Minister noted that the issues vital in the EU-27 framework are also important for the United Kingdom. In view of this, all parties should find a favourable common denominator in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, the Latvian Foreign Minister emphasised.
The Minister appreciated the public statements made to date by the UK leaders voicing support for a united EU. We believe that the European Union’s future should rest on three pillars: shared values, security and prosperity, said Edgars Rinkēvičs and underlined that the European Union and the United Kingdom should also build their further relations on the same fundamental principles after Britain leaves the bloc.