The rights of Italians resident in the United Kingdom will be safeguarded when it leaves the European Union next month, Italy's premier Giuseppe Conte vowed on Friday.
"They should rest assured because we have been working on their case constantly in recent months," Conte told reporters on the sidelines of a European leaders summit in Brussels.
"We were already prepared to fully protect their rights in the event of a possible No Deal," he went on.
Conte expressed strong faith in the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
"We worked with Michel Barnier during the negotiations and now there is the prospect of an orderly Brexit...he is an extremely meticulous and able person," Conte stated.
Conte said he was pleased Barnier was staying in the role.
"Continuity is very important...Barnier has taken on board all Italy's requests in terms of safeguarding our businesses and our citizens," he said.
Conte's comments came after the Conservative Party's major victory in Thursday's general election and its leader Boris Johnson's vow on Friday that Britain will definitely leave the EU on 31 January.