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UK ambassador: Czechs’ rights in Britain to be guaranteed

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Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – Britain plans to guarantee all the rights to the Czechs and other EU citizens living in the United Kingdom as soon as possible, British ambassador to the Czech Republic Jan Thompson told journalists on Thursday.

However, Britons want to control the future migration to their own country, Thompson said.

The control of who comes to the U.K. is so important for Britons that due to it, they have decided to leave the EU free market and its advantages.

As far as the EU citizens and naturally the Czechs who are already in Britain, too, are concerned, Britain wants to guarantee their rights as soon as possible, Thompson said.

However, the guarantees must be two-sided, also for the Britons living in EU countries, she added.

This does not mean that Britons do not highly esteem the contributions of migration, Thompson said.

Britain will be still open to the people who want to live and work in it, she added.

However, the citizens of the United Kingdom made it quite clear in the referendum on its staying in the EU last year that they do not want hundreds of thousands of people to be freely coming to their country, Thompson said.

She reacted to the Tuesday speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May who described for the first time in it what expectations London had from Brexit.

May said Britain wanted neither a partial or associated EU membership.

It wants to leave the European Court of Justice, the single market and other EU structures as well as to control the number of the people coming from EU countries.

EU countries, including the Czech Republic, are resolutely against Britain using the economic advantage, but simultaneously limiting the free movement of people which is, as the free market, one of the four basic EU pillars.

Thompson said on Thursday since London had clearly heard the attitude of the rest of the EU, it would leave the common market.

Instead, Britain wants to negotiate an “ambitious” deal that eliminates as many barriers as possible.

The starting position for negotiations is good because until now the same rules for trade as in the EU have been valid in Britain, Thompson said.

Britain will start the process of its withdrawal from the EU this March, May said.

This will be followed by two years of talks during which new relations with the EU will be created. Thompson repeated on Thursday that it was London’s target to set them in the way that would benefit both sides.

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