On 13 and 14 March, the Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Giorgio Silli, was in London to attend institutional meetings focused on safeguarding the rights of the approximately 500,000 Italian citizens residing in the United Kingdom, one of the largest Italian communities outside Italy.
Undersecretary Silli spoke with the UK Undersecretary of State at the Home Office, Lord Murray of Blidworth, about the main issues concerning the situation of Italian citizens after Brexit and requested the British authorities’ utmost commitment in the correct application of the Withdrawal Agreement and in solving the problems related to the EU Settlement Scheme. Undersecretary Silli also had the opportunity to discuss this issue with the European Union Ambassador in London, Ambassador Pedro Serrano.
Lord Murray, while confirming his intention to settle the issue as soon as possible from a managerial point of view, assured that the UK government was paying close attention to the problems affecting EU citizens and Italian citizens in particular.
During a meeting organised by the Head of the Italian Diplomatic Mission to London, Ambassador Lambertini, Undersecretary Silli met with qualified exponents of the Italian community and of the representative bodies of Italians in the United Kingdom, to better identify priorities for action in assisting Italians in the UK.
Undersecretary Silli also visited the headquarters of the Consulate General of Italy in London, the largest Italian consular office in the world in terms of volume of consular services provided. Together with Ambassador Lambertini and Consul General Domenico Bellantone, the Undersecretary addressed several issues concerning the Italian community living in the country. During his meeting with the Consulate’s team, he praised the continuous efforts to improve the services offered to the public, also in the light of the excellent results achieved thanks to a number of initiatives launched over the previous months, such as facilitated access for the issuance of passports – traditionally the service most requested by Italian nationals residing in the London constituency – for the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant women and minors.
The Undersecretary remarked on how the practices handled by the Consulate General show a constant upward trend and praised the commitment to do better and better, in the service of Italians.
Lastly, Undersecretary Silli went to Westminster to have talks with MPs from the Italo-British Parliamentary Friendship Group and representatives of the main political parties, with whom he had the opportunity to review the most relevant challenges faced by Italian citizens in the UK and the prospects for increasing collaboration in the future.