Brexit: Troubling Portugal dispute sparks chaos as 35,000 Britons left in bleak limbo – Express

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Under the Brexit withdrawal agreement, British citizens in Portugal were guaranteed their social and employment rights would be protected and had to exchange EU residence documents for a biometric residence permit.
More than 34,500 Britons live permanently in Portugal and have been left detained at airports, paying to have broken bones treated or facing the risk of losing their jobs due to the delays in getting a biometric card.
Instead, a temporary document and QR code was issued, which Britons say is not recognised locally or at international borders.
Tig James, who runs the British in Portugal campaign group, said an estimated 41,000 British nationals were affected and she has spent the past three years “screaming from the rooftops” about the problem.
She blamed the Portuguese immigration and borders service, SEF, and added: “SEF is wilfully, deliberately and systemically not adhering to the withdrawal agreement, resulting in the physical, emotional and financial suffering of thousands of UK nationals living in Portugal.”
SEF said in a statement: “The current residence documents of British nationals living in Portugal continue to be accepted, even after the end of the transition period, and until the new residence card is issued.”
THIS LIVE IS NOW CLOSED. CLICK HERE FOR TODAY’S.Troubling Portugal dispute sparks chaos as 35,000 Britons left in bleak limbo

Boots told politicians that some of its medicine suppliers have already been deterred by the uncertainty and complexity of regulation in Northern Ireland, which forms a small market, and “some have already decided to stop supplying their products in Norther Ireland or increase their prices”.
Mr Sawer estimates that only around 30 percent of Northern Ireland’s medicines are stored in the country; it receives the majority through daily ferries from mainland Britain. Were the Protocol implemented fully, those medicines would be subject to EU checks, causing potential delays.
The high-street pharmacy has already spent an additional £250,000 on customs issues across the Irish Sea, and predicts full implementation of the Protocol would lead to a five percent impact on its revenue in Northern Ireland (or roughly £6million per annum).

Contrary to what many might tell you, the global standing of the United Kingdom has risen since our vote to leave the European Union.
Most recently, the bold and decisive leadership we have taken in supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression has demonstrated the extent of the role that our country has to play on the world stage.
Our next Prime Minister will face extraordinarily difficult challenges.
They need to get inflation under control, address the cost of living challenges, contend with a war in Ukraine and finish Brexit by exploiting all of the opportunities it gives us. Let’s not forget that we were elected with a thumping majority to ‘get Brexit done’.
So, we need a Prime Minister that believes in our country, backed and believes in Brexit. That is Rishi Sunak. He put his career on the line in the interest of doing what he believed to be right for the country.
Unlike his opponent, he was not swayed by Treasury orthodoxy nor was he tempted to defend wild claims that leaving the EU would somehow cost every household more than £4,000.
Rishi’s euroscepticism dates back further though; in 1997, he wrote of Tony Blair that he ‘revels in the label of a patriot, but has plans for the possible breakup of the United Kingdom and membership of an eventual European Superstate.

Britons are being warned of hefty driving charges this summer if they travel to France, with petrol and diesel drivers facing the largest costs.
Millions of people are looking for a summer getaway this month, with many turning their attention to the continent. 
With airport chaos and rail strikes still threatening travel plans, many will look to drive to France and other popular tourist destinations.
However, Britons are being warned to abide by the French driving laws when it comes to environmental rules, or they could face massive fines. 
In January 2017, the French Government introduced “clean air” stickers as a legal requirement in many major cities.
The “Crit’Air” vignette is used to identify a petrol or diesel vehicle’s emissions levels and, in some cases, restrict access to improve air quality.
While they do cost, generally around €5 (£4.22), they could save drivers fines of up to €135 (£113.91).

Andrew Neil has accused the New York Times of “having it in for Britain” since the UK voted to leave the European Union.
Read more here.

Diplomats in UK and India are currently in the process of negotiating a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Delhi’s trade minister. It is believed a deal could be signed “within months.” In light of this, campaigners and experts have warned that if the Government rushes through a post-Brexit deal with India, UK consumers could face dramatic increases in ‘Highly Hazardous Pesticides’ (HHPs) in food staples.
CLICK HERE to read the full story.

Brexit fury: 'Rushed' India deal to 'short change' farmers with pesticide-filled produceNicola Sturgeon has been accused of trying to “rewrite history” with her bid to force publishers to strip out mentions of Brexit from a children’s book commemorating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Michelle Ballantyne, the Leader of Reform UK Scotland, also lambasted the country’s SNP Government for requesting references to England’s 1966 World Cup win also be removed the book, titled Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration.
In a series of emails, the Scottish Government requested a total of 52 changes to be made to the text of the book, intended as a gift for children across the UK, from reception to year six.
One asked for references to Brexit to be stripped out, citing what was referred to as its “highly divisive” impact.
Another called for the removal of all references to England’s World Cup win, dismissing it as “an event that doesn’t seem to merit this level of exposure – and it’s not that relevant in the non-England parts of the UK”.
READ MORE
A former Conservative home secretary has backed calls for Boris Johnson’s successor to ditch his Brexit plan to split from the EU on data regulation.
A new report by the ex-leader of Tory MEPs, Lord Timothy Kirkhope, today warns Mr Johnson’s plan for a new UK-only rulebook on data security could cut Britain off from the free exchange of information within Europe, and undermine protections against international crime and terrorism.
Businesses could be locked out of lucrative markets and may relocate outside the UK in order to avoid the additional barriers to trade, while police and security agencies could lose access to vital information on suspects’ criminal records, fingerprints, DNA or car registrations, the report warns.
Author Lord Kirkhope, who led the Conservative group in the European Parliament for six years and played a key role in drawing up the EU’s GDPR data security system, told The Independent that Mr Johnson’s “ideological” proposals appeared to be driven by the impulse to demonstrate benefits from Brexit.
Grant Shapps is opening a consultation to solve the lorry driver shortages caused by a lack of EU workers post-Brexit.
On Friday the Transport Secretary will open a consultation on whether to lift the ban on motorists driving anything larger than a 3.5-ton vehicle in order to solve driver shortages. The ban was imposed by the EU prior to Britain’s exit from the bloc.
In a letter to MPs, the Transport Secretary wrote: “It has been suggested that now the UK has left the European Union, we may wish to allow all car drivers – not just those who passed their test before Jan 1, 1997, the right to drive these larger vehicles without the need for a further test.
“Changes to the licensing categories would potentially create a greater pool of drivers. I am quite happy to explore this idea and how this may work in reality – without making any commitments to legislative change at this stage.”
READ MORENew masterplan to torpedo Britain's HGV chaos and finally axe EU hated banA British start-up founder has told Express.co.uk that the technology needed to set up a smart Brexit border in Northern Ireland is already here, simply waiting to be harnessed.
Alan Jones, the CEO of messaging app YEO, has pointed to a “straightforward” system utilising readily available blockchain technology which could track goods in transit and help eliminate customs friction for businesses. 
Mr Jones told Express.co.uk: “It sounds very simple, but what you’re actually doing is you’re authenticating and you’re are sealing goods in transit, and you are tracking their position at all times.
“So that offered the government a very simple solution that would have fit in with the customs on both sides and provided something that would be very easy to utilise, documentation would be pretty straightforward.
“Through the use of blockchain you’ve got an irrefutable trail of the information at all stages, and by geofencing codes in order to unlock seals to the destination depo, you could also be assured of the integrity of goods in transit.
“So very, very straightforward.”
READ MORE'Tech is there!' UK blockchain start-up presents 'simple solution' to fix Brexit borderLiz Truss as Prime Minister could completely cancel the Brexit deal and push the European Union into a retaliating strategy that could tilt the UK into a dangerous cost of living crisis.
In her role as Foreign Secretary, Ms Truss has upped the ante with the EU, threatening to implement a Northern Ireland Protocol Bill – designed to scrap the Irish Sea border in place under the current Protocol.
If she keeps “politicising” this issue, Dr Fabien Zuleeg warned the EU could cancel the whole Brexit deal and plunge the UK into a worsened cost of living crisis.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Zuleeg, Chief Executive at the European Policy Centre, said: “Of course, this is plausible. We have the whole procedures being set out within the withdrawal agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
“So, yes, we do have methods of escalating this if necessary. It could even go further than a lump sum payment.
“We can go, in the end, towards a suspension or a complete cancelling of the TCA.
“So, we’re talking about immediately a huge impact on trade, on movements in the UK and the European Union.
“Even now if you look at what’s happening at the borders at this moment in time, things are difficult. If the EU doesn’t have that legal framework, it will become impossible.”
READ MORETruss looking at 'complete cancelling' of Brexit deal as EU could tip UK into trade crisisBrexit tension between the EU and UK could lead to a “double hit” for trade in Northern Ireland, a manufacturing expert warned.
Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, told CNBC that he has concerns over how the bill could be implemented.
He added: “We’re potentially in a worse position than no-deal if the UK and the EU don’t find an agreement in the coming weeks and months, it’s not just no deal but it’s no deal plus a trade war.
“That will be hugely damaging not only to Northern Ireland but to the whole of the U.K. and the EU, which will be a double hit for us.”
READ MORE'Double hit for us!' Brexit row with EU threatens Northern Ireland economyRishi Sunak has vowed to see off a Labour-led coalition headed up by Sir Keir Starmer as the former Chancellor issues Tory members with a stark Brexit warning in the race to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.
In a leaflet seen by Express.co.uk, Mr Sunak promised to “keep Brexit safe” and “win the next general election campaign by defeating Starmer’s Labour”. 
The Richmond MP, who was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015, currently trails Ms Truss in the opinion polls among Conservative Party members.
READ MORE
A UK government spokesperson said in a statement: “We continue to urge the Portuguese government to complete the process of issuing biometric residency cards to UK nationals living legally in Portugal without further delay. 
“Portugal must immediately and fully implement the withdrawal agreement commitments it signed up to in 2018 so UK nationals have the security they need.”
SEF said in a statement: “The current residence documents of British nationals living in Portugal continue to be accepted, even after the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), and until the new residence card is issued.
“The exchange of the current residence document (either an EU registration certificate issued by the town hall, or an EU permanent residence certificate issued by SEF) was carried out through the Brexit portal (brexit.sef.pt), which allowed British nationals to apply online to exchange the document.
“Until then, the certificate with the QR code, that can be downloaded from the portal, continues to be an official residency document for those under the withdrawal agreement. It is valid until the new card is issued. Furthermore, valid EU residency documents continue to be accepted for travel purposes, until the new card is issued.”'Portugal must immediately' give Brits ID cards says GovernmentBritons living in Portugal have been unable to access healthcare, change jobs, or travel in and out of the country because its ministers have not issued post-Brexit ID cards.
Under the Brexit withdrawal agreement, British citizens in Portugal were guaranteed their social and employment rights would be protected, and had to exchange EU residence documents for a biometric residence permit.
More than 34,500 Britons live permanently in Portugal, and have been left detained at airports, paying to have broken bones treated or risked losing their jobs due to the delays in getting a biometric card.
Instead, a temporary document and QR code was issued, which Britons say is not recognised locally or at international borders.
Tig James, who runs the British in Portugal campaign group, said an estimated 41,000 British nationals were affected and she has spent the past three years “screaming from the rooftops” about the problem. 
She blamed the Portuguese immigration and borders service, SEF, and added: “SEF is wilfully, deliberately and systemically not adhering to the withdrawal agreement, resulting in the physical, emotional and financial suffering of thousands of UK nationals living in Portugal.”
My name is Dylan Donnelly, bringing you the latest in Brexit affairs and on the EU.
Feel free to get in touch at [email protected]
See today’s front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *