President Klaus Iohannis declared that the first negotiation topic with the UK, in the Brexit context, is that regarding citizens and their rights, adding that he would get strongly involved in this process to make sure that the rights of Romanians living in the UK are respected.
He underscored that the discussions on this topic will be carried out by the EU27 in one single, unitary voice, in a team format.
"The Romanians who have settled in the UK or chosen to live in the UK are, of course, caught in the middle; they are somehow the victims of these discussions and aren't the only ones. The existence of the single market with the four freedoms has led to millions of Europeans moving, finding a job in another country, starting from the premise that these liberties are well-defined, remain valid and, probably, nothing will change during their lifetime. However, for the UK, through the referendum held there, things have changed. Now, we cannot start negotiations or have approaches making victims out of these people who are not to blame. On the other hand, when it comes to our Romanians, I feel obligated to get very strongly involved in these discussions to have the guarantee that the rights of Romanians there are respected," Iohannis told Calea Europeana online media platform in an interview on Monday.
Iohannis also underscored that the negotiations with the UK will be carried out in a team format and not on a bilateral level.