Lithuanian MEP: Baltics will likely gain nothing from Brexit
«Brexit will not create any prerequisites for Baltic migrants to return to their home countries,» says Lithuanian member of the European Parliament Petras Auštrevičius.
According to him, a small number of residents may return, but many immigrants look more towards other countries to move rather than return home. He says many look towards Ireland, which is an English-speaking neighbouring country with liberal economic policy and acceptable lifestyle.
«They could also look at other continental European countries. To facilitate the return of emigrated countrymen after Brexit, we would have to do something special. But it won’t happen on its own,» said the MEP. Auštrevičius also says Baltic States will likely gain nothing from Brexit. Europe, he says, like the UK, will lose much from this process. «Some time will pass before the British realize what risks they have taken on,» adds the MEP.
He believes British residents are excessively optimistic and EU residents are excessively pessimistic when it comes to assessment for the outcome of Brexit, especially for Baltic States. Nevertheless, it is clear to him that both sides will be losers.
«I regret that British voters made this decision. I don’t believe the claim that we will be stronger without Britain. I am confident, however, that Britain will only lose from no longer being part of the UK. This is not the way to act in the 21st century,» says Auštrevičius. At the same time, he believes Baltic States should attract more labour force from neighbouring countries and use a more active policy to allow people from specific sectors of neighbouring countries to participate in the Baltic labour market. «Right now we only speak of lack of labour force in our country. In Lithuania, for example, there is already a lack of qualified labourers. Unfortunately, we are doing very little at the moment to change our approach from talking to acting. This is why we have to be more active in countries like Ukraine, Belarus and several other neighbouring countries to invite labourers from those countries to work for us,» Auštrevičius emphasized.