Zagreb - The Croatian Ministry of the Interior has been conducting activities in the past few months to help UK citizens in Croatia and Croatian citizens in the UK to maintain their rights in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a state secretary in the interior ministry, Žarko Katić, said in parliament on Thursday.
Croatian MPs are debating several bills on Thursday, including preparations for the Britain's exit from the EU so as to enable UK citizens to continue to enjoy their existing rights in Croatia after Brexit.
A bill on European Economic Area citizens and their families regulates temporary sojourn and permanent residence and proposes that UK citizens retain the status once Brexit occurs.
The Croatian Ministry of the Interior published on its website general information about Brexit to inform UK citizens of the rights they will keep and how to further regulate them, Katić said in parliament.
"For the Republic of Croatia, it is vital to preserve the rights of Croatian citizens in the UK, as well as the UK citizens in Croatia, and provide them with clarity regarding their future status. The Croatian Government is currently undertaking measures necessary for establishing the conditions of reciprocity so that such an arrangement would come into force immediately after 29 March and that the effects of Brexit on citizens and business activities would be minimized," the ministry said on its website.
"British MPs again voted against all alternative Brexit options, and a no-deal Brexit seems the likeliest scenario," Katić said.
He stressed that according to the interior ministry's figures, there were currently 653 UK citizens of whom 356 have temporary sojourn and 297 hold permanent residence in Croatia.
The bill prescribes that they will keep either temporary or permanent sojourn and that, within a certain deadline, they should obtain a new sojourn permit in line with a special regulation so they can continue to stay and work in Croatia and cope with the negative consequences of a no-deal exit, Katić explained.