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Finland secures residence rights for Britons in case of no-deal Brexit

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HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s government began to prepare on Friday for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit with an emergency law securing temporary rights to Finnish residence for some 5,000 Britons who are already in the country.

The emergency law is due to be approved before the end of March, when Britain is set to leave the European Union.

“The aim of the extraordinary law is to ensure that the Britons who already live in Finland and have registered their EU right to residence will be able to continue to stay temporarily without any separate measures,” the government said in a statement.

The proposed law will guarantee the registered Britons can continue to live, work, study and get government benefits in Finland “at least until the end 2020”, the government said, adding the end day was still up for consideration.

Finland’s interior ministry said it wanted to avoid a situation where the Britons would have to apply for residence at short notice, in case of a no-deal Brexit.

“We hope that the EU and the UK will reach an agreement over the separation deal. However, we want to ease the uncertainty of Britons living in Finland also in the case of it not happening,” Finnish Minister of Interior Kai Mykkanen said.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen)

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