Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020 at midnight (Brussels time). Τherefore, it will no longer be a Member State of the European Union, that will now be made of the remaining 27 Member States. This is a decision that Cyprus, as well as the entire European Union, regret but respect. At the same time, we look forward to the post-Brexit era and the start of a new chapter in the relations between the EU and the United Kingdom.

Withdrawal Agreement

As of 1 February 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement enters into force, which ensures that the withdrawal will happen in an orderly manner, and offers legal certainty to citizens and businesses affected by the UK’s withdrawal. This Agreement, that was concluded between the two sides, protects the life choices of over 3 million EU citizens in the United Kingdom and over 1 million United Kingdom nationals in EU countries, ensures that the United Kingdom will honour all financial obligations undertaken while the United Kingdom was a member of the Union and contains provisions for an array of separation issues, to ensure the UK’s orderly withdrawal. The Agreement also includes Protocols that (a) provide for the future cooperation between Spain and the United Kingdom in respect of Gibraltar, (b) protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement and do not allow for a hard border on the island of Ireland, and (c) protect the interests of Cypriots and other EU citizens who live and work in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) in Cyprus. .

More specifically, with regards to the British Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus, the relevant Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement Ensures that EU law, in the areas stipulated in Protocol 3 to Cyprus’s Act of Accesssion, will continue to apply in the Sovereign Base Areas, with no disruption or loss of rights for the citizens living, working or passing through the areas of the SBAs. Additionally, the Protocol confers responsibility on the Republic of Cyprus for the implementation and enforcement of Union law in relation to most of the areas covered.    

 

Transition Period

At the same time, as of 1 February 2020, the time-limited transition period starts, until at least the 31 December 2020, during which it will be business as usual for citizens, including students, and businesses. The United Kingdom will no longer participate in the EU institutions, αgencies, offices or other bodies, but EU law (“acquis communautaire”) – including all four freedoms of the Single Market, such as the free movement and residence of persons, goods, services and capital between the EU Member States and the United Kingdom – will still apply in the United Kingdom until the end of the transition period.

 

Future Relationship

In the interest of maintaining a close partnership, the European Union and the United Kingdom, will use the coming months, up until the end of the transition period, to agree on a new future partnership, based on the Political Declaration. Cyprus, as a Member State of the Union that long and historic ties with the United Kingdom, actively supports efforts for the conclusion of an ambitious, broad, deep and mutually beneficial future relationship, in the interests of the Union, all the Member States, and our citizens. As was the case during the negotiation and conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement, maintaining the unity of the European Union during the upcoming negotiations will also prove instrumental. Therefore, the leadership of all Member States, including Cyprus, is determined to uphold it during the upcoming negotiations for the future partnership.      

 

Information

The Republic of Cyprus has adequately prepared for the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, as of 1 February 2020. Special measures have been taken to safeguard the right to stay of British nationals and their families, residing in the Republic of Cyprus, as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. Further information can be found on the website of the Ministry of Interior, at the link below

 

 

For further information regarding Brexit, please visit the following links: 

 

- National Brexit website: https://brexit.com.cy/

-Ministry of Interior, Civil Registry and Migration Department:   http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/crmd/crmd.nsf/All/C482CD407E0903D8C225830E00384072

- European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/brexit-negotiations_en

 

Also, please call at Europe Direct, in all EU Member States’ languages, at: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11, free of charge.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Nicosia

31/1/2020