Diplomatic Service

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 22nd March 2021.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Labour, Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the ability of consular services to evolve to meet the needs of British Citizens since the UK left the EU.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Consular assistance is the FCDO's most important public service. Consular assistance continues to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the world, by phone, online and via social media.

Since the beginning of negotiations with the EU, the FCDO has prioritised delivering consular support to UK nationals living in and travelling to the EU, with the objective of reducing preventable consular cases. The FCDO has a network of consular staff based in 21 embassies across Europe, covering 30 of the 31 EU and EFTA states, who work closely with Member States and the European Commission, to ensure the Withdrawal Agreement is correctly applied, and there is clear and appropriate information for UK nationals. The Government is running an information campaign to prepare UK nationals for changes to travel, and for accessing citizens' rights for those living in the EU. The UK Nationals Support Fund is also providing up to £3m of grant funding to third party organisations to support UK nationals in the EU who may face challenges in securing rights.

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