President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in Brussels that Prime Minister David Cameron assured him on Britain’s behalf that the Romanians living in the United Kingdom will be able to stay and work there, and that he also apologized for the xenophobic incidents occurred immediately after the Brexit vote.
“Premier Cameron assured me on Britain’s, not on his personal behalf, that the Romanians will be able to stay and work there. He also apologized for the incidents occurred there in the vote aftermath,” Iohannis told Antena 3 private broadcaster.
The President explained that “the stakes are high” for Romania at the European Council meeting in Brussels.
“We are determined to thoroughly negotiate our position very well, and of course, in the first place the position of the Romanians who work and live in the UK,” Iohannis said.
The head of the state added that Brexit talks so far clearly show that “no one has ever had a plan B.”
“This shows us that everybody expected a ‘remain’ vote and the outcome took them by surprise. Even Prime Minister Cameron confirmed to me that the ‘leave’ camp has no concrete plan,” Iohannis said.
“Romania is aware it must get involved for Romanians in the UK and it will”
Romania is aware that it must get involved for the Romanians in the UK and it will do so, and the decision of the British people that the UK leaves the EU must be approached with lucidity and calm, President Klaus Iohannis said in Brussels on Tuesday.
The president spoke with the Romanian press upon his arrival for a European Council meeting. The main topic of the meeting in Brussels of the heads of state or government is the UK’s leaving the European Union, an unprecedented process in the EU’s history.
The head of state mentioned Romania’s priorities and how Europe should approach this crisis.
“We have plenty of things to negotiate. I am thinking about the Romanians living and working in the UK and for whom we plan to get involved,” Iohannis said in an interview aired by Digi24 private TV station. “If Romanians want to work there, it is good to find fair solutions, and for those who have settled there we must negotiate in a manner in which they should not suffer losses because of this movement,” Iohannis said, according to Agerpres.
He urged to calm in evaluating the situation. “Under no circumstance should anyone panic. Romania is aware that it must get involved for the Romanians in the UK and it will do so,” Iohannis saidd.
The head of state said that the UK and Romania have very similar stands on foreign policy and security matters.
He added that the EU countries currently have different views on the Brexit.
“Various public positions show slightly different opinions. Some want the UK to be pushed, to leave immediately, others would suggest it would be good to wait even very long,” Romania’s president said.
At the same time, he underscored, “nothing can be negotiated until there is a written application from the UK [to leave the EU]. ‘It is quite unlikely to have a document we can negotiate on by autumn,” Iohannis showed.
The Romanian head of state underlined that this situation must be dealt with lucidly.
“It is not the case to hurry too much. It is good to approach things with calm, much lucidity and, as far as the UK is concerned (…), regardless if the decision is to leave or to stay, the UK remains a very important partner to the European Union and to Romania and I believe it is very fair (…) to prepare this move very well and to generate, as much as we can, a situation to the benefit of all sides,” Romania’s president pointed out.
Asked about his take on the British vote for leaving the EU, Iohannis said some answers to this matter could be painful and found out in time.
“There are questions to which we all must find answers, together. There are answers… maybe some are painful and we won’t find them soon. But I hope we have the power to accept these questions and find the correct answers,” said Iohannis.