The Latest: Boris dismisses Brexit fears in Portugal
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s exit from the European Union (all times local):
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is “unthinkable” that European Union citizens living in the U.K might be sent away or lose their rights after Brexit.
Asked by reporters in Portugal Friday about EU citizens’ rights — a key issue in Brexit negotiations — Johnson says he “cannot imagine circumstances in which the 400,000 Portuguese or the 1 million Poles in the U.K. are going to be asked to leave or to have their rights damaged” after Britain leaves the bloc.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said there are “one or two points to resolve” with Britain over post-Brexit citizens’ rights. He says Portugal believes that a British proposal requiring current EU residents in the U.K. to register for permanent residency status is “unnecessary.” British officials have said the process will be easy and inexpensive.
Scotland’s leader is asking British Prime Minister Theresa May to provide “urgent clarity” on plans for a transition period after Britain leaves the European Union, saying she is concerned the country is heading for a “no deal” Brexit.
Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019, but May suggested last month that relations could remain largely unchanged during a two-year “implementation period.”
This week May suggested there could not be a transition agreement until there is a deal on future trade relations — a discussion that has yet to start, and could take years.
In a letter released Friday, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said May must offer “absolute clarity” that she is urgently seeking a transition agreement.
Unlike Britain overall, Scotland voted to remain in the EU.