Ambassador: Czech and British ties remain strong despite Brexit

Close to 70,000 Czechs have retained the right to live and work in Britain.


Written by ČTK Published on 01.09.2022 11:12:00 (updated on 02.09.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Some 69,000 Czechs received the settled or pre-settled status in Britain, with which they keep the right to legally live and work in the country even after Brexit, Czech Ambassador to Britain Marie Chatardová told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) in an interview.

She said the consular department in London did not mark any huge influx of Czech citizens having problems with their stay in Britain after Brexit. Settled status was granted to 46,000 Czechs and another 23,000 were given pre-settled status.

"Everyone who had lived in Britain was allowed to apply for the status," Chatardová stated, noting that about 500,000 workers from the EU states left Britain after Brexit, however. She considers economic recovery and further cooperation between Prague and London after Britain having left the EU one of her priorities.

Brexit also had a huge impact on education. The last student stays within the Erasmus program, for instance, are to take place soon. No replacement for the program has been found yet.

Next year, the Czech Republic and Britain will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Czechia has started its EU presidency on July 1 and it also marked the 80th anniversary of the Anthropoid mission this year, during which the Czechoslovak paratroopers trained in Britain assassinated the high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich.

The Czech embassy in London commemorates all these anniversaries by cultural and other events.

The interest in the fates of the Czech pilots and World War II soldiers gave rise to a long-term project named "Children of Heroes." Within this project, they are looking for the offspring of Czech soldiers who fought in Britain and stayed there or returned there after the communists came to power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, Chatardová explained, adding that they have heard from more than 70 people who gave them interviews that are being posted on social media.

In early November, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will have a big concert featuring solely Czech composers.

Next week, Britain will hear the name of its new prime minister who will replace the resigned PM Boris Johnson.

"The current government still exists, it works, but it will not make any crucial decisions anymore," Chatardová said, adding that the new PM's task will be mainly to solve the energy crisis.

Czech PM Petr Fiala has called on Czech ambassadors at a recent meeting to seek new possibilities of investments and material export in the countries where they currently work.

The ambassador said that electricity import from the United Kingdom was not very realistic due to its geographical location but they see a huge potential in the science and research area.

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