Both Portugal’s President and Prime-Minister have welcomed the result of the British snap general election of December 12th. The landslide victory of the Conservative Party should make way for the European Union exit agreement that was already discussed between the British Prime-Minister Boris Johnson and the Council of European Union’s representative, Michel Barnier.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the popular “President of the selfies”, published a message stating that the result was “positive for Portugal”. It allows “an orderly exit from the European Union” of the United Kingdom, deemed a relevant partner for Portugal. The president stresses that the UK has been an “ally of so many centuries”, given the alliance first signed in the XIV century.
Speaking to reporters, the president added that the agreement between the UK and the EU protects the Portuguese living in the United Kingdom and also the British residents in Portugal.
António Costa also welcomed the result and added that now the Europeans only have reasons to be calm, as the risk of a no-deal Brexit has gone away. Even stressing that he’s among those who “lament the fact that Brexit exists”, the “clear majority” was much needed to give a clear steer to Britain’s next steps. Like the president, the prime minister said that a no-deal Brexit would have been very harmful both for citizens and companies.
The uncertainty generated by the Brexit process, both for Britain and for the European partners, was among the reasons causing doubt about business. During 2019, the European countries started to move on and plan ahead, as it became clear that, in spite of the delays, Brexit would eventually happen.
Obviously, neither the president nor the Prime-Minister made any reference to the Scottish pretension to a second referendum for independence, which remains a British internal affair.