EU-British ties after 2020 lack clarity yet: EU Brexit chief negotiator

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-05 03:18:10|Editor: Chengcheng
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VILNIUS, July 4 (Xinhua) -- It is not yet clear how the relations between Britain and the European Union after 2020 will develop, however, the rights of citizens who arrived in Britain before 2020 and those already living in the country will be secured, EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday.

Barnier is on his two-day visit to Lithuania to meet the Baltic country's leaders, including President Dalia Grybauskaite and Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius.

"My answer is yes, as regards Lithuanians, French, Germans, who have already chosen living in the UK or who will do so until the end of 2020," Barnier said as regards the rights of foreigners in Britain after Brexit while speaking to reporters here.

"I am not talking about what will happen to Lithuanians or French who will decide to arrive to the UK after 2020 as it depends on the UK's future immigration policy. I don't know how it will look like," said Barnier after meeting with Linkevicius.

According to Barnier, negotiations on the EU-British relations after Brexit have advanced by "80 percent".

Meanwhile, Lithuanian President Grybauskaite noted that the EU and Britain have already reached an agreement about bilateral financial obligations and transition period up to 2020. However, the Brexit negotiations are lagging behind the terms and some important issues are not solved yet, Grybauskaite was quoted as saying in a presidency's statement.

"The United Kingdom has not yet made up its mind about the model of the future relationship (with the EU) which increases the risk that the agreement would not be made before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019," the president underscored.

According to Grybauskaite, "everyone would lose" in the case of uncontrolled Brexit, therefore, faster progress is needed in order to solve the main issues of the British-EU divorce, as well as to create the model of future relations favourable to both sides.

Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29 2019. A preliminary agreement was reached between the EU and Britain that the transitional period will last until the end of 2020.