Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs: It is in Latvia’s interests to ensure that the status of Latvian nationals living in Britain remains unaffected

21.02.2017. 17:03

On 21 February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs met with the Secretary of State of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, who was in Riga as part of his visit to the Baltic States.

Edgars Rinkēvičs confirmed at the meeting that Latvia will contribute to the formulation of the European Union’s position while protecting its national interests. The Minister emphasised in particular that it is in Latvia’s interests to ensure that there is no change to the status of Latvian nationals living in the United Kingdom. Close cooperation on security and defence as well as active economic cooperation between the EU and the UK should also be continued after Britain leaves the European Union.  

Secretary of State Davis informed the Latvian Foreign Minister about the British Government’s work and negotiating objectives for exiting the EU, and the future relationship between the UK and the EU. By leaving the EU, the United Kingdom is not leaving Europe; the country will remain a responsible partner which honours its commitments and engagements, especially in security, justice and home affairs. It is important for the UK to maintain economic cooperation and as free as possible trade relations also after Brexit.

Major attention will also be paid to the issue of the status of EU nationals in the UK – including Latvian nationals – and the conditions for the stay of British nationals in the EU. David Davis confirmed that the UK will address the matter with great responsibility so as to achieve a mutual agreement in the shortest time possible.

In their conversation, the ministers gave a generally positive assessment of the bilateral relations between Latvia and the United Kingdom and their active cooperation in a number of areas, especially security, defence, business and education.

As part of his visit, David Davis also met with Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.

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