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Carmen Gavrilă

8 Octombrie 2019
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Almost 200,000 Romanians in the United Kingdom have registered for the new resistance status.

RRA Exclusive Interview with UK Ambassador to Bucharest, Andrew Noble


  Andrew Noble. Photo:

Radio Romania News. "Global Agenda". Producer Pavel Ionescu:  British government sources have admitted on 5 October, for the first time since Prime Minister Boris Johnson took office, that Head of London Executive has accepted the idea that he should ask Brussels for a postponement of Brexit, if it does not reach an agreement with the European Union. Last month, British Parliament passed a law that forces Boris Johnson to do so, if an agreement with Brussels is not agreed until European summit in October 19. Brussels is currently examining a new set of proposals from London on the Irish border (between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, n.a.), the main point of discussion in the Brexit negotiations. Plan was received with reservations by the European Parliament, but also by the Government of Ireland. According to Reuters, UK government must make important concessions by the end of this week on the customs system applied in Northern Ireland after Brexit, so that the possible agreement will be considered by European leaders at the summit on October 17. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also said that a request by UK for postponing Brexit is preferable to an exit without agreement from the EU. Enough uncertainty is still hovering over the situation of European citizens settled in the UK.

Almost 200,000 Romanians in the United Kingdom have registered for the new resistance status - British Ambassador to Bucharest, Andrew Noble, told Radio Romania News in an exclusive interview. As His Excellency also said, the United Kingdom wants a closer relationship with Romania after Brexit and that the UK will increase involvement in humanitarian projects or collaboration in areas such as internal affairs or fighting organized crime. In an interview with RRA Reporter Carmen Gavrilă, Ambassador Andrew Noble also referred to the recent British proposal on Brexit.

Ambassador Noble: The only area where there are differences of opinion between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the exit agreement is the one regarding the protection mechanism. It's a small, yet difficult area, but it is still time to reach a mutual understanding. The protection mechanism in the agreement was a form of insurance that would have been applied only from 2021 and only if future negotiations between the EU and the UK had failed. Mechanism is the only thing that has prevented the agreement from being implemented. The British Government has broken down what the mechanism was doing, its functions, and has overcome its inherent problems - this is what we have forwarded to the European Commission. Certainly, from our point of view there is a place for a compromise. What we want is to discuss and negotiate. Our Government has outlined something that we believe would be accepted in the UK and especially in Parliament, but obviously the official details and formulations are yet to be settled.

RRA Reporter: What are the latest figures regarding registration of Romanians for the new UK residence scheme?

Ambassador Noble: I think there are now over 200,000 Romanians who have applied and about 140,000 have already received an answer. Very important to mention, this system was designed to be successful, not to prevent people from continuing their lives in the UK.

RRA Reporter: After Brexit will it be harder or the same for Romanians to settle in the UK?

Ambassador Noble: That depends on what kind of Brexit will be. One of the reasons we want a Brexit with an agreement is that Europeans can continue to register in the new residence scheme throughout the implementation period, that is if we have an agreement. If you arrive in the UK by December 31, 2020, at 12:00 at midnight, you have the right, as a European citizen, to request, if you wish, the new residence status. If there will be no agreement with the European Union, then you must arrive in the United Kingdom and submit the application by November 1st. For those who only come to the UK to travel, our country will still be very open; Romanians will only be able to travel with the ID and will be able to stay up to 90 days in a 180-day period, that is, like the international classical procedures. What we want in the future with the European Union is the deepest and most special relationship with a third party. We will ask the EU far more than the EU has ever offered to anyone else and we believe that we can also offer much more to the EU, for example, at the Salzburg European Council last year, Romania pleaded for a privileged EU-UK relationship on security after Brexit, so Romania has somewhat asserted a leading role in this matter. We also want a close collaboration in the fight against organized crime, in education; we want a frictionless trade. For example, there is a very efficient car production operation. The Embassy uses a Duster - this is a car that many people want on the British streets, so we want to make it easy for us to import. Ford factory in Craiova exports many cars to the UK, and we sell a large number of auto parts to the Ford factory in Craiova. In these circumstances, we expect Romania, alongside other EU Member States, to request a very ambitious negotiating mandate for a single trade with the United Kingdom, beneficial to both parties.

RRA Reporter: Great Britain has a lot of cooperation projects with Romania in areas varying from judicial cooperation to humanitarian support. Will you continue these projects after Brexit?

Ambassador Noble: Yes, we want to continue everything we have and build more. In fact, the thinking behind Brexit is to intensify relationships, not isolate ourselves. The British we have here, in Romania, are part of - I say - a unique network of NGOs, which were started by deeply moved people, for example, by the terrible images with the Romanian orphanages in 1989. They started with humanitarian aid or support in orphanages and have expanded into many other areas. I don't know of any other country in Europe with over 50 non-governmental organizations, such as those of British origin, active in the humanitarian area - this says something about the country where these NGOs work because they chose to work here. . These NGOs will continue their work regardless of obstacles. As for the British Government, for example, in the area of anti-crime cooperation, we necessarily want to maintain the tools we have now. Romania hosts the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC). We are seeking to join this center as an operational partner, as a way to maintain our international connectivity.

Source:RRA.Translated by Miruna Matei


Etichete Exclusiv radioambasadorul britanic la BucureștiAndrew NobleBrexit

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