‘Goans living in UK on Portuguese passports should be helped’

Panaji: Following the Brexit vote, the Goa government should help Goans who used Portuguese passports to settle in the UK, a political party in the state said on Friday.

“We are with you. After Brexit, we @GoaForwardParty empathise with Goan diaspora facing uncertainity in the UK. Goa government must swiftly set up a task force to help Goans,” legislator Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party tweeted.

In a statement issued here, the Goa Forward, a newly formed political party, said Goans who might be forced to come back to the state of their origin should be given all assistance.

Several thousand Goans, who obtained Portuguese nationality via a unique Lusphonian citizenship clause, are among the three million European citizens residing in the UK. They face an uncertain future after Britain chose to quit the European Union (EU).

Goa was one of the oldest colonies of Portugal and was liberated by the Indian Army from colonial yoke in 1961. After the liberation, all Goan natives were granted Indian citizenship by the union Home ministry via a common notification.

However, the departing Portuguese preserved their link with its former colony by allowing those living in Goa during their regime to register their birth in Portugal and avail themselves of citizenship and Portuguese travel identity documents.

The privilege was later extended to two more generations of Goans.