EU states set to veto any Brexit deal threatening free movement

In a stark reminder of the challenge Britain faces at the negotiating table, Robert Fico said Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and – known as the Visegrad, or V4, group – would not hesitate to block any future trade accord that threatened the key EU principle of free movement of workers.


“The V4 countries will be uncompromising,” Fico said on Saturday, a day after EU leaders met informally in Bratislava, without Britain, to try to chart a roadmap for the bloc’s future after the shock of the Brexit vote.


“Unless we feel a guarantee that these people [living and working in Britain] are equal, we will veto any agreement between the EU and Britain,” Fico told Reuters. “I think Britain knows this is an issue for us where there’s no room for compromise.”


London has not yet revealed what kind of trade agreement it wants with the European Union, but has said its priority is to control EU immigration while maximising opportunities for trade.


Four central European countries are prepared to veto any Brexit deal agreed between the UK and the European Union that restricts their citizens’ rights to live and work in Britain, the prime minister of Slovakia has said.



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