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'Of course you can stay' in event of no-deal Brexit: Danish PM to British citizens

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'Of course you can stay' in event of no-deal Brexit: Danish PM to British citizens
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
12:24 CET+01:00
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has confirmed that British citizens living and working in Denmark will be allowed to stay in the country if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

The British parliament is set to vote later this month on the agreement reached between Prime Minister Theresa May and EU negotiators in November, with the deal widely expected to be rejected by MPs in London.

That means increased likelihood of the UK leaving the union on March 29th with no agreement.

A so-called no-deal Brexit would put the ability of UK citizens to stay in Denmark under current conditions in doubt.

But Rasmussen moved to ease the concerns of Denmark-based Brits in a social media post on Saturday.

Responding to journalist Peter Kenworthy, a contributor with The Local, the PM wrote that “of course (Brits) can stay here (in Denmark)”.

“We are preparing legislation (for a no-deal Brexit) that we hope won't be necessary,” the PM further elaborated.

It is not the first time Rasmussen has moved to reassure UK citizens over their futures in Denmark. In another Twitter post in December, he wrote he had “clearly said that, in the case of hard Brexit, we will look after British citizens in Denmark. But I still hope for an agreement.”

In his speech at the opening of parliament in October, Rasmussen also addressed the rights of Brits if no deal was reached.

“We are employing customs officers and preparing the system. But I want to make it abundantly clear that no matter the end result of the negotiations, we will of course look after the thousands of British citizens living in Denmark today. This is only fair,” he said.

Other EU countries, including Sweden, France, Italy and Spain, have recently joined Rasmussen in making official statements over the future rights of British citizens living in those countries after a potential no-deal Brexit.

The EU Commission has said in its plan for a no-deal Brexit that leaving the EU without a deal “would have an impact on (the rights of British citizens) to stay and work where they currently live.”

Member states were invited in the statement to “take a generous approach to the rights of UK citizens in the EU, provided that this approach is reciprocated by the UK”.

On its website, the Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration currently states that Denmark will consider the rights of British citizens in Denmark in the event of a no deal-Brexit after negotiations between the UK and the EU have concluded. Although the EU has stated no further negotiations will take place following November's agreement with May, the British parliament is yet to accept or reject that deal.

“I have digitally ‘stalked' Lars Løkke Rasmussen, (Foreign Minister Anders) Samuelsen, (Justice Minister Søren) Pape Poulsen and the Ministry of Integration since October to get an answer on this matter,” Kenworthy said.

“Not because I blame Denmark in an answer to this matter not being forthcoming, but because the EU says it's up to the member states to settle it and since (no-deal) Brexit is getting close,” the journalist added.

SEE ALSO: WATCH: Brexit is 'tragedy', Danish government will 'look after' Brits in Denmark: PM

 
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