With Britain having just exited the EU, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček flew to Manchester on Friday to meet members of the local Czech community and discuss their concerns connected with Brexit. Mr Petříček started his trip by visiting a cemetery in Cheadle and Gatley, south of the city. Radio Prague’s Tom McEnchroe has been following the events on the ground and spoke to us on the phone on Friday morning:
UK journalist Misha Glenny is an expert on organised crime and cybersecurity and has written a number of books, including the hit title McMafia. He studied in Prague and did a lot of reporting from the city in the late 1980s, including during the Velvet Revolution. At present he also heads a committee guaranteeing the independence of editors and journalists at the Economia group, which publishes titles such as Hospodářské noviny and Respekt. Czech Radio’s Lenka Kabrhelová sat down with Misha Glenny recently and began by asking him about the nature
Relations between the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom must remain
strong after Brexit, British ambassador to the Czech Republic Nick Archer
said in an interview for the CTK news agency.
Mr. Archer said the British government was striving hard to agree on an acceptable Brexit deal with the European Union, but stressed that, even if the country left the EU with no deal, Czechs living in Britain would not be restricted in their present rights.
He said the UK had offered very generous provisions in the “Lex Brexit” law protecting the rights of Czechs and the citizens of other EU member states living in the UK.
Those offered by the Czech government to British nationals are slightly less generous, mainly as far as health care is concerned, and talks with the Czech government about this continue, Mr. Archer said.
The British ambassador to the Czech Republic said the embassy organizes regular meetings with British nationals living in the Czech Republic to inform them about the possible impacts of a no-deal Brexit.
The last one took place in mid-September and the next should be held in October.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has advised Czechs travelling to Great Britain
to take along their passports in order to avoid possible complications in
view of Brexit.
Martin Smolek, head of the ministry’s consular department told journalists that which it was still possible to travel to Britain on a citizen’s ID card the situation could change in time and in order to avoid possible complications with British immigration police it was advisable to carry a passport as well.
All other documents relating to stays in GB should remain valid until the end of October, Smolek said.
Three great white pelicans departed from Prague Zoo on Thursday to join a
flock in London's St. James's Park, near Buckingham Palace. It is
the third time the zoo has sent pelicans to Great Britain.
The first birds were transported to London in 1995 and three others followed in 2013. Two males, Sun and Moon, and a female, Star, who were born in February, are due to join the current colony of three in London on Thursday.
The pelicans were first introduced to St. James's Park in 1664 as a gift to King Charles II from a Russian ambassador.
The Czech Centres in London and New York are getting new directors this spring, with Přemysl Pela assuming control in the UK capital and Miroslav Konvalina taking the helm in the Big Apple. We spoke to both before their departure for the key branches of the Czech Republic’s cultural diplomacy network in the English-speaking world.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) met his
British counterpart Jeremy Hunt in London on Wednesday to discuss bilateral
relations and the status of Czechs living in the UK following Brexit.
Following the meeting, Minister Petříček tweeted, “Britain is currently our fifth largest export market and among the leading investors in the Czech Republic. We have great potential to strengthen cooperation in the areas of artificial intelligence, cyber security, renewables and nanotechnology.”
In a gesture meant to show good relations will continue, Petříček and Hunt exchanged national football jerseys with their respective surnames on them.
On Tuesday, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened a new Czech Consulate General in Manchester primarily to bring consular services to Czechs living in the northern UK.
The Czech Republic is ready to agree with the United Kingdom’s request to
extend the Brexit deadline of March 29 at the EU Council meeting in
Brussels on Thursday.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said at Wednesday’s European Affairs Committee meeting in Prague the deadline sought would likely extend to June 30. He said he could not imagine any EU Member State would seek to block the summit meeting, which would lead to a no-deal Brexit.
A June 30 deadline would means that the UK would not take part in the European Parliament elections.
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