Korcok and Johnson Discuss Bilateral Relations and Rights of Slovaks in UK

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Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry State Secretary Ivan Korcok (right) and British Foreign Affairs Minister Boris Johnson (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 26 (TASR) – Brexit, the rights of Slovaks living in the UK, bilateral relations, security in Europe and the Western Balkans were high on the agenda of a meeting between Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry State Secretary Ivan Korcok and British Foreign Affairs Minister Boris Johnson in Bratislava on Tuesday.

Korcok stated that the Brexit negotiations are now entering a decisive phase. “It’s like in any divorce that is painful, uncomfortable and costs a lot. It’s up to both sides [EU and UK] to handle this process in an organised way,” Korcok told a press conference in Bratislava after the talks with Johnson.

“In terms of negotiations the most important issues for Slovakia, for the 27 EU-member states as well as for Britain are still the issues related to citizens’ rights, financial compensation and complex legal issues … connected to the UK’s departure from the EU,” added the Slovak state secretary, who hopes for early debates on future relations between the EU and Britain.

Johnson reassured Korcok that Britain will do it’s best to ensure that the rights of Slovaks living and working in the UK are respected. “We very much appreciate the contribution of Slovak citizens to our society. There are 95,000 of them and we like and appreciate them,” said Johnson, adding that Britain will continue to meet its legitimate obligations, such as combating terrorism, in the so-called interim period.

Korcok and Johnson further highlighted economic cooperation between the two countries. They mentioned the UK’s investments in Slovakia that include, among other businesses, the carmaker Jaguar Land Rover. “Great Britain is a strategic investor in Slovakia,” said Korcok.

Johnson added that business between the UK and Slovakia is on the rise and that Brexit won’t affect the investments regarding the Jaguar plant in Slovakia.

The two politicians concurred that the relations between Slovakia and Britain are strong. “Our relations are based on thousands of ties created between our citizens and the British people,” said the Slovak state secretary. Johnson stressed that despite Britain leaving the EU, it isn’t leaving Europe. “And we won’t abandon the partnership with Slovakia either,” said Johnson.