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Expats in Portugal fear more uncertainty after latest Brexit vote

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By Filipa Soares
Brits Stella Fletcher and Andrew Nimmo watch the Brexit vote in Portugal.
Brits Stella Fletcher and Andrew Nimmo watch the Brexit vote in Portugal.

Last night’s key vote on Brexit was closely watched in Portugal, home to some 50,000 British nationals.

Their status after the UK has quit the European Union remains unclear.

In a typical Portuguese restaurant in Porto, two British expats sit down to watch the vote unfold on television.

One of them, Stella Fletcher, has been living in Portugal for 12 years: "It seems to have been what was expected and I think tomorrow (Wednesday, March 13) we will see a little bit more and see if the no-deal is really going to happen and what will happen next. I think that there is still more uncertainty."

Andrew Nimmo arrived in Porto one year ago and hasn't registered yet as a resident.

"It's what I expected so I knew having followed the news during the day that the government was going to be defeated,” he said. “I'm not a Tory but I feel a bit sorry for Theresa May because she's sort of really taken the brunt of all of this.

"If the vote had gone through and we had got the deal to my mind it’s one step closer to Brexit and I would prefer Brexit to be stopped so I still remain optimistic, maybe we can stop Brexit," said Stella.

The Portuguese government has already made a gesture of goodwill, saying nothing is going to change with expat rights, so long as nothing changes for Portuguese migrants in the UK.