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Cyprus

Foreign, education ministries reassure Cypriots over Brexit

A man holds a placard while celebrating Britain leaving the EU on Brexit day in London

The Foreign Ministry on Friday said the country is fully prepared for Brexit and special care will be taken to safeguard the rights of British citizens in Cyprus, according to the withdrawal agreement.

“Cyprus has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the UK”, the foreign ministry said in a statement, “and actively supports the endeavor for an ambitious, broad, deep and mutually beneficial future relationship, in the interest of the EU, and all its member states.

“The EU’s shared values have played a key role in the implementation of the withdrawal agreement and Cyprus is determined to maintain a good relationship with the UK to extend our fruitful partnership.”

The agreement provides for a transition period until December 31, 2020 during which the UK remains in the single market to ensure frictionless trade until a long-term relationship is agreed.

The statement also refers to a specific section of the withdrawal agreement regarding the British bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, reassuring that “EU laws will continue to be observed in the bases, in order not to affect the daily lives of the citizens living, working or passing through those areas.

“As a consequence, the UK’s departure from the EU is not expected to bring any change in the arrangements currently in force at the British bases.”

Meanwhile the education ministry reiterated that students in the UK will continue to benefit from EU student loans.

Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou recently held talks with his UK counterpart Chris Skidmore. “During our talks, we were reassured that our students will continue to have the same privileges they have benefitted from when the UK was a EU country.

“This will apply for the next academic year, but we are not sure how the situation will progress further. There is some uncertainty in that regard,” Prodromou said.

With 8,930 students at 125 universities, Cyprus is the European country with the fifth highest number of students in the UK, according to a study published by financial experts Rangewell in October.

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