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Update2: President Iohannis says Romania not blocking Brexit negotiations, denies information by ‘The Times’ on exploratory trade talks

President Klaus Iohannis has rejected on Thursday the information in the British media claiming that Romania, Germany and France reportedly request the blocking of exploratory trade talks for Brexit.

“No, this is stupid. Romania has never blocked negotiations and does not intend to. I am the one involved in these issues, I represent Romania to the European Council. No, Romania is not blocking any negotiation. All the 27 states remaining in the EU after the Brexit have decided to appoint a negotiating team, a very performing one, to negotiate first of all the most important conditions for UK’s exit from the European block. There are several chapters to be negotiated at the beginning. They are of interest for us too: freedom of movement – Romanians living there should not be isolated and should not have tougher conditions than now, the second chapter regards the financial obligations. If the UK withdraws now, certain obligations remain and such issues should be clarified. When negotiations reach an advanced stage, on this level and on the issue of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, we will be announced by the negotiators that things are going well and we should adopt, at the level of the European Council, the decision to go further and open the negotiating chapter for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Such issues are not negotiated by each country, but by a team and the European Council is to decide when is the right moment,” the head of state said.

On the other hand, President Iohannis said “we are very interested in the situation of Romanians in Britain, but also want to have a very reasonable relationship with the UK. Currently there no intentional deadlock coming from any county and the designated teams are negotiating.”

The president’s position comes as ‘The Times’ has released information on Thursday that “Germany, France and Romania have blocked attempts to open exploratory trade talks after next week’s meeting of European Union leaders.”

The same source reads that the UK wants the rights of foreigners to be guaranteed by the British courts. The EU says otherwise, as the UK’s legal framework could change in time. Reportedly it seems the three mentioned states want clarifications in terms of the bill for Brexit, according to the source.

The EU says Britain has commitments of EUR 60 billion, whereas London agrees only EUR 20 billion.

The latest figures show there are more than 325,000 Romanians living in the UK.

About Valeriu Lazar