Lithuanian gov't invites expats to return amid hard Brexit worries
The Lithuanian government has invited on Wednesday its expats living in the UK to return to Lithuania following Brexit deal's rejection at the UK parliament and worries of a hard Brexit scenario.
In response to the UK parliament's vote on Brexit agreement, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Wednesday all Lithuanian expats in the UK are welcome in Lithuania and the country is ready for their return.
"We are ready to provide them with all public services. We have plenty of jobs to offer; those people with business experience there could also make use of it in Lithuania," Skvernelis told journalists.
"In case anyone decides to return to Lithuania, we will do everything to make this return smooth," Skvernelis was quoted as saying by public broadcaster LRT.
He added the outcome of the vote on Brexit deal is "the moment to return to the home country and build life in Lithuania".
Since Lithuania's accession to the European Union in 2004, the UK has been among top destinations to Lithuanians looking for better pay and jobs abroad. According to Lithuanian foreign ministry, around 200,000 Lithuanian expats live in the UK.
Lithuania, a small Baltic country with population of less than 3 million, has lost more than 700,000 people due to emigration since 1990, according to European Migration Network. The country's government has made efforts to bring back Lithuanian expats one of its strategic priorities.
On Wednesday, the Lithuanian government also discussed possible steps the country would take in case of the hard Brexit scenario. The prime minister vowed to ensure favorable conditions to the UK.
"We support the idea that the UK would be among those third party countries that receive particularly favorable conditions, whether we talk about tax policy, qualifications, diplomacy," said Skvernelis.