In view of the United Kingdom (UK) most probably leaving the European Union (EU) in two months – on 1 November 2019 – the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Latvian citizens living in the UK to take care of their formal relationship with their country of residence and to register for a settled status in the UK.
To Latvian citizens who intend to stay in the UK after Brexit, being granted status will guarantee EU citizens rights and prevent potential complications. Therefore, we call on all residents of Latvia who have children, family members, relatives or friends living in the UK to draw their attention to the need for settling their legal status in a timely manner. The process of application to the EU Settlement Scheme is free, and it is done via a simple and straightforward online form.
According to the newest information from the UK Home Office, Latvian citizens are slow in applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. Only 31 800 Latvian citizens had registered their status in the UK as of 31 July, although, according to official data, there are an estimated 117 thousand Latvian citizens living in the UK. Overall, Latvia ranks 11th among EU Member States in terms of the number of applications.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on line ministries, the Bank of Latvia, the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia, and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to update their plans of action for a no-deal Brexit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now drafting an information report on Latvia’s preparedness for a no-deal Brexit and on the UK-EU future relationship. The report will be considered by the Cabinet at its sitting of 17 September.
As reported earlier, the deadline of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has been extended to 31 October. Consequently, unless the Withdrawal Agreement takes effect during the remaining two months or a decision is taken on a further extension of Article 50, the UK will become a third country already on this 1 November.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process and the fact that the British Parliament, on several occasions, has voted to reject the deal achieved as the result of the EU-UK negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration on the future relationship between the EU and the UK, the risk of a no-deal Brexit is currently higher than ever before.
For further information on how to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme go to the website of the UK Home Office (including in the Latvian language). The website also gives contacts for the Home Office.