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Slovaks in the UK do not have to fear Brexit

Brexit itself should not impact the position of Slovaks in the UK, an interim agreement between the European Union and Great Britain suggests.

Brexit, illustrative stock photo(Source: TASR)

Tens of thousands of Slovaks who live and work in Great Britain for a longer time – five years at least – do not have to fear Brexit, the Sme daily wrote on January 16.

Unlike some rumoured fears, they will not be forced to leave the UK, nor will they lose social benefits. At the beginning of December 2017, the European Union signed a preliminary agreement with the UK stipulating that people coming from EU members states (i.e. also from Slovakia) will have the same guaranteed rights after Brexit like now. The current decision on accepting degrees and qualifications – e.g. from doctors and architects – will be respected as well.

Read also:Soft Brexit is the best option

This agreement implies that those who have been living officially in Great Britain for five or more years will have basically the same rights as Britons. Slovaks (and other EU nationals) who live there for a shorter time – or who will even arrive in the UK before Brexit is completed – will gain the status of applicants, and after five years, they will also have the same rights, according to Sme.

Read also:A record number of British companies are locating to Slovakia

Although Slovakia makes no precise statistics, there are an estimated 60,000 to 90,000 Slovaks living in the UK now.

The ultimate form of the Slovaks’ stay in Britain will be concluded only with the signature of the overall and final agreement on the UK leaving the Union, Sme summed up.

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