Post Brexit MEA should reach out to Goans in UK: Congress

Post Brexit MEA should reach out to Goans in UK: Congress

Panaji, June 25 (IANS) The Congress in Goa has demanded that the Ministry of External Affairs should protect the interest of Goans living in the UK on Portuguese passports, in view of Brexit.

“I think the External Affairs Ministry should immediately take up the issue with United Kingdom (UK) which is also interested in having an economic bond with India. The ministry must respond and reach out to Goans in the UK and reassure them,” state Congress president Luizinho Faleiro said on Saturday.

Several thousand Goans, who obtained Portuguese nationality via a unique Lusofonian citizenship clause, are among the three million British Europeans residing in the UK, who face an uncertain future after Britain chose to quit the Union.

Goa was one of the oldest colonies of Portugal and was liberated by the Indian Army from colonial yoke in 1961. After the liberation, all Goan natives were granted Indian citizenship by the Union Home Ministry via a common notification.

However, the departing Portuguese preferred not to completely snip the umbilical cord with its colonials by allowing those living in Goa during the Portuguese regime to register their birth in Portugal and avail of citizenship and Portuguese travel identity documents.

The privilege was later extended to two more generations of Goans.

Faleiro also said that Goans had left Goa by obtaining the Portuguese passport in search of better opportunities especially in the UK.

“This decision (Brexit) can create problems for them. The Goans abroad have been contributing to the Indian economy and Goan economy by sending remittances back home. Brexit can lead to unemployment and force them to return to Goa,” Faleiro said.

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