Domenica, 24 Marzo 2019
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ROME

British ambassador sees win-win Brexit, strong Rome ties

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© ANSA

Rome, December 6 - British Ambassador to Italy Jill
Morris told an ANSA Forum on Tuesday that she was hopeful Brexit
negotiations can lead to a win-win outcome for all involved.
She also expressed optimism that relations with Rome will
continue to flourish after the Italian people voted to reject
the government's Constitutional reform on Sunday, prompting
Matteo Renzi to announce he would resign as premier.
"Now our job is to finish the path to a Brexit that protects
our interests, but not only those of the UK," Morris, who became
Britain's first woman ambassador in Rome earlier this year,
explained in fluent Italian.
"At the end of the negotiations there must be a win-win
situation.
"The EU must be stronger and Britain must be stronger in its
new relationship with Europe.
"Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has stressed that it's not
in our interests to have a weak Europe.
"On the contrary, we want a strong EU and good relations with
the individual member States".
She acknowledged that Britain's decision to leave the EU had
had an "emotional impact" on "friends and partners overseas",
many of whom had been hoping for a different outcome.
Morris said negotiations should not be based on a model
derived from any of the other countries, such as Norway, that
are strongly linked to the European Union while not being
members.
"The important thing is to find a British model," she said.
"During our period as a member of the EU, we've had a
specific relationship, special to Britain.
"So its so logical to have a relationship that is specific
after we leave too, a British model that works well for us and
our partners.
"Britain will play an important role in security and foreign
policy for example".
Morris said the British government was aware that uncertainty
over the Brexit process could be damaging for the UK and Europe.
She said this is the reason Prime Minister Theresa May is
determined to meet the deadline she has set of triggering
Article 50 by the end of March, even if the government loses a
legal challenge and is forced to consult parliament before doing
so.
The ambassador told the forum that London wants to guarantee
the right of EU citizens currently living in Britain, including
some 600,000 Italians, to stay.
But she said this depended on EU member States making the
same pledge for British nationals living in their countries.
"The one condition is reciprocity. If British citizens'
rights are respected, we see no problem," the ambassador said.
"Our prime minister has said it would be best to address this
issue at the start of the (Brexit) negotiations.
"It would be best to resolve this at the start so citizens
don't have to worry".
Morris said the No victory in Sunday's Constitutional reform
referendum "was a democratic choice of the Italian people".
"Italy is and remains an important partner for us, both on a
bilateral level and in the EU," she said.
"Relations between Britain and Italy are already very strong
and will be deepened in future.
"Britain will continue to collaborate with any Italian
government to address common challenges and work on the many
interests we share".

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