A. Zananavičius: Embassy in London strengthens capacities in the run-up to Brexit
On 13 February, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius presented steps taken by the Lithuanian diplomatic service to prepare for the United Kingdom’s forthcoming withdrawal from the EU without a withdrawal agreement on 29 March 2019.
“As the Brexit day approaches, the Lithuanian Embassy in London strengthens capacities of its consular unit. We began the selection procedure of two new consular officers, set citizen’s reception hours on weekdays, and extended working hours on weekdays. There will be additional consular missions in King's Lynn and Leeds,” said the Foreign Vice-Minister.
A. Zananavičius said that the number of Lithuanian citizens applying for identity documents was growing rapidly. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior have additionally proposed amendments to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on identity cards and passports in order to reach a long-term solution. The amendments make it possible to use the services of external service providers when receiving documents from Lithuanian citizens for a change of identity documents.
"We still hope that the UK will ratify the agreement that the EU and UK reached on Brexit in November 2018. However, we are already close to the 29th of March and the likelihood that the UK will leave the EU without a deal is increasing. Lithuania, just like other member states, has been preparing for a no deal scenario for some time. The UK assured at the highest level that it would equally protect the rights of EU citizens who had arrived before Brexit in both cases. Currently, we are strengthening capabilities of our Embassy in London. We seek to create favorable conditions for Lithuanian citizens living in the UK, who need identity documents to be able to apply for settled status after Brexit, ”said the Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius.