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Portugal approves agreement with UK for arrangements after Brexit

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 14, 2019
Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva
European economies   Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva

Portuguese government approved an agreement with the United Kingdom to protect the electoral rights of the citizens of both countries after the "Brexit".

Portugal and the United Kingdom signed a bilateral agreement guaranteeing national citizens of both countries the right to participate in local elections, either as voters or as candidates, following the departure of the UK from the European Union (EU).

The bilateral agreement establishes the continuity of the legal framework regarding participation of Portugal's and UK's nationals residing in the territory of the other country in local elections after the UK leaves the EU.

"We are already beginning to build a future relationship with the United Kingdom," Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva said, adding that Portugal is one of the first Member States to conclude such an agreement with Britain.

"These rights will remain within the framework of the future relationship once the United Kingdom has left the EU," he added.

Minister of Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita has highlighted the relations between the two countries, saying that this agreement is continuity, maintaining the rights of political participation in local elections.

"This right of participation is based on the principle of reciprocity," Cabrita said.

Portugal and the UK have a historical and cultural relation with six centuries and that there are about 40,000 British residents in Portugal.

"The Portuguese government has done everything to maintain the rights of residence, access to health, driving licenses, academics wanting to continue to reside in Portugal," Cabrita said.

"This agreement to maintain the rights of political participation in local elections is another step towards deepening these relations," the minister added.

Lord Callanan, British Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, has explained that the UK leaves the EU but not Europe.

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