Fico Talks Brexit and EU Future with Theresa May in Bratislava

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Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico at a meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May in Bratislava (photo by TASR)

Bratislava July 28 (TASR) – The European Union has fallen in love with itself; it wanted to be the best in the world, but it seems that some regions are eventually overtaking it, said Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico after a meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May on Thursday.

Regarding Brexit, Fico told May that he respects the outcome of the British referendum to leave the EU. “We take this decision as a matter of fact, as the reality which we have to face and not turn our backs on,” said Fico.

The two premiers concurred that the notification of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty won’t take place this year. Fico appreciated that Britain has committed itself to remaining a fully-fledged EU member with all its rights and obligations until that time.

Fico thinks that the time before the notification should be spent effectively. Britain should work on the vision that would define its relations with the EU and the remaining 27 EU-member states should use the time left to draft the vision of the EU after Brexit. If they fail, it could contribute to further destabilisation and defragmentation of the system, according to the Slovak prime minister.

Fico called on the British prime minister for a special care of around 90,000 Slovaks working in Britain. May – who is on her first visit to Slovakia since her appointment on July 13 following David Cameron’s resignation over Brexit – promised to try to protect rights of Slovaks in Britain in the future, however, she demands reciprocity on this issue.

At the same time, May pointed out that the Brits don’t support full freedom of movement, therefore they have to find solutions that will enable a certain form of control of movement. She hopes that negotiations with the EU will be smooth and will enable an easy departure of Britain from the EU.

“It’s important to stress that although the United Kingdom is leaving the EU, it’s not leaving Europe nor the world. We remain a country that is looking around itself and we want to remain a strong voice and a player on the global scene,” said May.

Moreover the British premier praised mutual trade cooperation between the countries represented by the companies Jaguar Land Rover and Tesco. She believes that cooperation in this area also remains upbeat in the future.

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