Europe

Citizens' rights, market access key for Czechs after Brexit

  • Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka addresses the media after an extraordinary meeting of chairmen of parliamentary parties in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Sobotka said it is a key issue for his country to maintain the same rights for EU citizens in Britain after its exit from the European Union. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka addresses the media after an extraordinary meeting of chairmen of parliamentary parties in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Sobotka said it is a key issue for his country to maintain the same rights for EU citizens in Britain after its exit from the European Union. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka addresses the media after an extraordinary meeting of chairmen of parliamentary parties in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Sobotka said it is a key issue for his country to maintain the same rights for EU citizens in Britain after its exit from the European Union. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka addresses the media after an extraordinary meeting of chairmen of parliamentary parties in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Sobotka said it is a key issue for his country to maintain the same rights for EU citizens in Britain after its exit from the European Union. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says it is a key issue for his country to maintain the same rights for EU citizens in Britain after its exit from the European Union.

Sobotka spoke on Wednesday after a rare meeting of the chairmen of parliamentary parties from the ruling coalition and the opposition, who agreed on the country's common position ahead of the EU's exit negotiations with Britain.

Some 40,000 Czechs are estimated to live in Britain.

So far, it is not clear if 3 million EU nationals living in the U.K. and 1 million Britons living in EU countries will be able to stay, and under what conditions.

Sobotka says another top priority for his country's export-oriented economy is to keep access for Czech goods and services to the British market.