|Published:||13 Jun at 6 PM|
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Portugal has now promised to secure the rights of British expats in order to ensure Brexit isn’t disruptive of the two countries’ still-active alliance.
Although it’s not yet certain how the measures will protect Britons now planning to escape to Portugal and start new businesses, it’s good news for the large British expat business community already in residence. The Portuguese government’s plan, entitled Portugal IN, involves a temporary Brexit task force set up to assist UK businesses in navigating the hurdles caused by the UK’s leaving the EU at the end or October. The group will work with the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency, the Portuguese tourism agency and a number of other public entities in order to endure a smooth transition for British-run businesses.
As the UK is Portugal’s largest source of tourism, the government will now provide guaranteed visa exemption and dedicated passport control lines in addition to examining the possibilities of mutual driving license recognition and even access to the country’s healthcare services. In a bid to attract more students to Portuguese universities, the Study in Portugal initiative includes masters’ degrees taught in the English language, and students at present in the country will be considered as European students until their courses end.
As regards expat professional access to jobs in Portugal, the country is already reaping positive effects from the Brexit chaos. Multinationals including BNP Paribas, BMW, Mercedes, Google and several others have already set up local headquarters in the country, bringing in relocating expat professionals and also creating jobs for locals. Foreign direct investment is also rising, with 22 UK companies investing and creating new jobs over the past two years. The Portuguese/British active alliance dates from 1373, making it good to know that it’s still being protected by at least one of its original signatories, even if the other seems to be veering too far off course.
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