Tuesday 25 June 2019

'There will be no second referendum', Theresa May tells Norway as citizens' rights post-Brexit agreed

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg face the media at the Parliament in Oslo, Norway (Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix via AP)
British Prime Minister Theresa May and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg face the media at the Parliament in Oslo, Norway (Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix via AP)

British Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated on Tuesday there would be no second referendum on the decision by Britain to leave the European Union.

"There will be no second referendum on Brexit," May told a session of the Nordic Council held in the Norwegian parliament.

British citizens already living in Norway and Norwegian citizens living in Britain will have the right to remain residents, even in case of a no-deal Brexit, the prime ministers of Britain and Norway said on Tuesday.

"Prime Minister May and I agreed that Norway and UK will put in place a comprehensive citizens rights' agreement," said Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway which is outside the EU but inside the wider European Economic Area (EEA) free trade and free movement zone.

"We will treat all UK citizens living in Norway ... so they will have the same opportunities as they had before also after March 2019," she said, adding that Britain and Norway were "very close" on agreeing a deal to mirror any Brexit deal London concludes with Brussels.

May, visiting Oslo, said she was making the same commitment to Norwegian citizens, as part of a wider pledge to grant such rights to citizens of all EEA countries already living in Britain.

"Whatever happens, we confirm that people from the EEA, the Norwegian citizens and those others who are are living in the UK, and who have made their life choice to be in the UK, well, to be able to be in the UK. We want them to stay."

Sterling languished at a ten-week low on Tuesday as concern about Britain's departure from the EU led investors to largely ignore hopes of an end to austerity raised by Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond.

The pound has weakened 4pc since September as traders fret over lack of progress in divorce talks over issues including the Irish border five months before Britain exits the European Union.

After a decade of cuts to public services, Hammond's budget on Monday offered a glimpse of higher spending. But he made clear that that will hinge on London getting a trade agreement with Brussels.

More to follow...

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