New UK Ambassador to Portugal digs in on expat Brexit advice

Published:  22 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, Citizenship, Euro, England
Chris Sainty, the UK’s new British Ambassador to Portugal, isn’t wasting any time before contacting members of the Brit community about Brexit.

Ambassador Sainty only arrived in the country two weeks ago, but is already active as regards making contacts with the Portuguese government and members of the UK expat community. As his first major task, he’s attempting to allay the fears and concerns of both sides affected by Brexit, and is updating information and dates of relevant upcoming events on the embassy’s Twitter and Facebook pages as well as in local English language newspapers.

In an interview wit the Portugal News, he revealed he has some 30 years’ experience as a diplomat, although this is his first Ambassadorial position, adding he was delighted to have been appointed. His main tasks before taking on the appointment have been involved with policy-making in Europe, and he hopes to be able to use his experience during his term in Portugal. Importantly, he also believes a special relationship between the two countries will come into being after Brexit is finalised.

Ambassador Sainty is fully aware there are some 400,000 Portuguese nationals living and working in the UK, as well as a substantial number of Britons living, working or retiring in Portugal, many of whom are feeling insecure at the present time. One of his main objectives, he adds, is to protect the British expatriate community’s rights as the Brexit process continues.

He notes two scenarios are at the fore, with the first an agreed deal under which everything is now in place to guarantee the protection of rights for the UK expat community. The second scenario is a no-deal break with the EU, bringing huge uncertainty, but he’d like expats to remember the British PM has guaranteed the rights of EU citizens in the UK and believes the Portuguese government will reciprocate with a similar offer. He’s not making any promises, but he thinks Brits in Portugal can feel ‘reasonably reassured’ at this point in time.
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