Brexit: Portuguese living in UK “can relax”, says Secretary of State for Communities

Portuguese nationals living in UK “can relax” over what’s to become of them in any post-Brexit scenario because the government has everything covered.

This was the message from Secretary of State for the Communities José Luís Carneiro in an attempt to deflect concerns generated by the outburst on Sky News of Portuguese theatre founder-cum-careworker Ana Rocha (click here).

Rocha’s impassioned speech – about the damages she believes Brexit involves – suggested she faces expulsion from Britain (her home for 20 years) because the Settlement Scheme, designed to legalise all EU residents by 2021, “isn’t working”.

Stressed Carneiro via SIC television news – which is widely watched by Portuguese nationals living in UK – this is not the case.

“The important message we want to convey is that Portuguese (living in UK) should be calm”, he said. “They should be calm particularly because the Portuguese State has prepared to deal with whatever comes from the decision of the British authorities and people.

“Just a few days ago, the British prime minister himself contacted the prime minister of Portugal precisely to convey a message of tranquility about the Portuguese people living in the country”, he added (click here).

Manpower at the Portuguese consulates in London and Manchester has been beefed – as well as work hours extended – to cope with all the issues Brexit has thrown up.

This far, over 92,000 Portuguese have applied for permanent resident status and ‘in general’ they have received it, said Carneiro.

Ana Rocha’s case was specific, he explained, and her anguish “much more to do with the decision by the British people to quit the EU”.

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