President Iohannis, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Barnier discuss protecting rights of Romanian nationals in UK

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President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday welcomed at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to discuss protecting the rights of Romanian nationals living in the UK.

“President Klaus Iohannis underscored that Romania’s main priority is for the provisions in the UK’s agreement to withdraw from the European Union to ensure the rights and interests of the Romanian nationals living in the UK are protected. These nationals, he said, should even benefit, when the Brexit is over, from the rights already extended to them before the Brexit,” the Presidential Administration says in a press statement.

“Romania’s President insisted on the need for negotiations to be conducted as soon as possible over these aspects of the rights of the European Union nationals living in the UK. At the same time, he said financial aspects related to the UK exiting the EU should be addressed in the first stage of the negations as well.”

Iohannis also underscored the special importance of the unity of the 27 EU member states over the Brexit negotiations being preserved. Likewise, he mentioned that Romania supports the continuation of close cooperation between the EU and the UK in areas of shared interest even after the Brexit occurs.

In his turn, Barnier unveiled the latest developments in the preparations of negotiations with the UK, as well as the schedule of the process and a strategy for the conduct of negotiations.

He also mentioned Romania’s important role in the process, given that it will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019, when the Brexit is expected to happen.