London striving for Brexit deal with EU - UK ambassador to Prague | info.cz

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London striving for Brexit deal with EU - UK ambassador to Prague

London striving for Brexit deal with EU - UK ambassador to Prague
 

The British government is trying to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union and the UK parliament would approve such a deal if an alternative to the Irish backstop were found, British Ambassador to the Czech Republic Nick Archer has said in an interview with CTK.

Even if Britain left the EU without a deal eventually, Czech citizens living in the country would not face any restrictions on their current rights, Archer said.

He also stressed that relations between the Czech Republic and the UK must remain strong after Brexit. London is trying hard to achieve the Brexit deal with the EU, Archer said.

He added that it would not be suitable to make details from the Brexit talks public, since if just parts of the draft without context leaked to the public, they would be immediately challenged and would have no chance to be approved then.

Archer also told CTK that the final version of the agreement between London and EU negotiators must be waited for and the EU member states can comment on it then.

The main controversial point of the Brexit deal is "the Irish backstop," a draft agreement between London and the EU that aims to prevent a hard border in Ireland after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

The fundamental problem lies in the Irish backstop, Archer told CTK.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was sure that the deal would make it through the parliament if another way of solving this backstop were found, Archer added.

People and firms both in the Czech Republic and in Britain are well prepared for Brexit with a deal, Archer said.

If Britain left the EU without a deal, this would cause temporary turbulences, primarily in the sphere of trade, which requires the exact timing of supplies, Archer noted, but he added that such problems would only be short-term.

The preservation of the current rights of citizens of both countries in the case of a no-deal Brexit has been secured, he said.

Britain has adopted several regulations in this respect and the Czech parliament has passed "the Lex Brexit," a law to guarantee the same rights the EU citizens enjoy to British citizens in the Czech Republic.

Czechs living in Britain would have no problems at all, as the UK has offered very generous provisions, Archer said. Those offered by the Czech government to Britons in Czechia are slightly less generous, mainly as far as health care is concerned, and the talks with the Czech cabinet about this continue, he added.

The British embassy also organises meetings with Britons living in the Czech Republic to inform them about possible Brexit impacts. The latest one took place in mid-September and another one is scheduled for October, Archer said. According to him, Britons are well informed about their rights.

He does not know anyone who would like to move back to Britain over Brexit, he said, adding that British citizens living in the Czech Republic feel happy there.

It is important that relations between the Czech Republic and the UK remain as good as they are now, Archer pointed out. Both countries have a lot in common, both support free trade and are NATO members, he reminded.

There is an apparent interest in bilateral trade and security cooperation to continue, Archer said. He can see a potential in cooperation in science and innovations and in the development of artificial intelligence, he added.

After Brexit, a new normal state will come, but it must be reached first, he said. He promised that the UK embassy and he personally would try to make the transition as smooth as possible.

 
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