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Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Katrougalos, meets with the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Katrougalos today met with the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis.

In their one-on-one meeting, which took place in a very good atmosphere, the two Ministers discussed the progress of the Brexit negotiations and issues concerning Greece’s economic relations with the United Kingdom.

Subsequently, at the meeting between the two delegations, there was discussion of issues concerning the European Union’s relations with the United Kingdom, following the Brexit and also during the transitional period. Also discussed were issues bearing on Greek professionals and university students in the United Kingdom.

Following his meeting with Mr. Davis, Mr. Katrougalos made the following statement:

“Secretary Davis and I had a constructive discussion. We agreed that the process should not be punitive in nature for the United Kingdom, while a country that is no longer a member of the EU cannot have more rights than or the same rights as member states.

With regard to bilateral issues, we specified our interest in protecting the Greeks who are in Great Britain: university students and employees. We have made progress, and the rights of those who are there at this time are fully safeguarded. We are discussing the rights of those who move to Great Britain during the transitional period. We are trying to maximise the safeguarding of their rights as well.

We hope that most of the bilateral issues will be covered by the final agreement on the new relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. This will be in the nature of a free trade agreement and a partnership agreement on security and defence issues.

We thus hope that matters concerning, for example, our protected designation of origin (PDO) agricultural products will be covered by the EU-UK agreement.

Other issues that may remain pending, particularly in the services sector – air and maritime transport, for example – can be settled later via a bilateral agreement, when we have seen what shape the UK-EU relationship takes.

The talks took place in a good atmosphere. Clarifications and information were exchanged by the two sides. We are committed to continuing to ensure the unity of the 27 in the negotiations with the United Kingdom while maintaining an open channel of communication with this friendly country.”

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