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Essential to protect Italians in UK over Brexit - PM

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Essential to protect Italians in UK over Brexit - PM

Photo: AFP

Italians are among hundreds of thousands of European Union citizens living in the UK and their rights must be guaranteed in any deal with the EU over Britain's exit from the bloc, Italy's premier Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday.

"Hundreds of thousands of EU citizens live in the UK and their rights must be upheld," Gentiloni told Italian lawmakers ahead of an EU leaders summit on Thursday and Friday where Brexit is expected to be high on the agenda.

"Without any progress on a financial settlement, the Irish border issue and the future status of EU citizens in Great Britain it won't be easy to pass to the next phase involving future relations between the EU and the UK," Gentiloni stated.

"Great Britain is a friend and ally but we cannot accept that the three issues of the first phase (of Brexit talks) are not resolved, Gentiloni said.

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