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Telephone conversation between Italian Foreign Minister Alfano and British Secretary Johnson. Brexit and the case of little Charlie Gard

“We appreciate the British ‘policy paper’ as a first step towards the achievement  of  a swift agreement on citizens’ rights. We have identified in it several areas of agreement, but there is also the need to further clarify and discuss some issues,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, told his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, in a telephone conversation over the British proposal on citizens’ settled rights after Brexit.

Minister Alfano went on: “Your policy paper is a good start to give more clarity to the negotiations.  However, there are still a number of differences that raise major concerns for our citizens living in the United Kingdom. We will work with the other EU member states to quickly come to a satisfactory agreement on this very important matter.” Other issues that require further discussion include: procedures on the new “settled status”; the need to identify a court; the appointment of a “cut-off-date”; the status of categories of citizens who feel particularly uncertain, including non-EU family members, minors born after the withdrawal and university students.

The minister told his British colleague that Italy aims to “work towards minimising the adverse effects of Brexit on EU citizens, on our businesses and on the EU and EU member states’ public administrations”.

He also mentioned the case of little Charlie Gard and confirmed that the Italian Children’s Hospital Bambino Gesù is willing to receive him. 

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson explained that legal issues prevent Great Britain from accepting, but he expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the Italian offer.