British nationals living in Portugal have been unable to travel in and out of the country, access healthcare or change jobs because they have not been granted residence permits in the wake of Brexit, a British newspaper (The Guardian) reported on Saturday.
The UK government confirmed it had raised the matter at ministerial level and through its embassy in Portugal, calling for the full implementation of Britain’s withdrawal agreement from the European Union, protecting 34,500 British people.
“We continue to urge the Portuguese government to complete the process of issuing biometric residence cards to UK nationals legally resident in Portugal without further delay,” a British government spokesman said.
“Portugal must immediately and fully implement the obligations of the Withdrawal Agreement signed in 2018 so that UK citizens can enjoy the protection they deserve,” he added.
Delays in obtaining biometric residence permits needed for daily living and delays in establishing legal status have left British citizens detained at airports, risking losing their health care and jobs, the newspaper pointed out.
British nationals in Portugal are guaranteed protection of their social and employment rights under the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. However, the Portuguese government has not yet issued biometric residence cards, instead offering a temporary document and a QR code. The British say it is not recognized at home or at the border.
In turn, according to “The Guardian” newspaper, an official at the European Commission, “without naming him”, said that he had received guarantees from Portugal that the delay in issuing genuine residence cards would not have consequences for British citizens or their structures. Right to access social and health services.
He added that the situation will continue to be monitored, stressing that the new laws aim to increase the number of government agencies allowed to issue these cards.
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