Saturday, 21 October 2017

Johnson: UK government will keep protecting EU citizens

ČTK |
14 November 2016

Prague, Nov 11 (CTK) - The British government will keep protecting European citizens living in the United Kingdom even after the country's departure from the European Union, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told his Czech counterpart Lubomir Zaoralek in Prague on Friday.

"Boris Johnson assured me that the British government will do all it is able to do to avoid the emergence of any tendencies that would threaten the lives of people who come from the EU to Britain," Zaoralek said.

Johnson has been the first member of the British cabinet to visit the Czech Republic since the Brexit referendum in June, in which Britons voted to leave the EU.

Shortly after the referendum on Brexit, attacks against foreigners from Central and East Europe occurred, Zaoralek said.

"I was assured that the British government... can guarantee that attacks against our citizens will be ruled out," he said.

Johnson said the Czechs living in the UK contributed to British society very much, same as all the three million Europeans staying in the country.

He said the rights of these people will naturally be protected.

Johnson said the British government wants to prevent barriers between the UK and the EU from arising after Brexit.

He said it would be crazy to impose customs duty, quotas or any other bureaucratic burden on the British-Czech trade exchange.

According to data of the Czech Industry and Trade Ministry, Czech exports to Britain amounted to 206.6 billion crowns and British exports to the Czech Republic to 73.4 billion crowns.

The two ministers said the Czech Republic and Britain have had close relations and there is no reason why Brexit should change this.

Johnson told Zaoralek that London is ready to meet the announced schedule for its departure from the EU.

The government of Prime Minister Theresa May plans to officially apply for the exit in March 2017. Afterwards, the form of the EU-UK relations must be negotiated within two years. The schedule was challenged by a British court decision that ruled that Brexit also must be approved by parliament, in which Brexit opponents prevail.

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