EU chief reassures British staff over their jobs

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attends a meeting with European Parliament President Martin Schulz and European Council President Donald Tusk (unseen) after Britain voted to leave the bloc, in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has reassured Britons working for the EU executive that he will do everything in his power to keep their jobs safe following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, he wrote in an email seen by Reuters.

“You work for Europe. You left your national ‘hats’ at the door when you joined this institution and that door is not closing on you now,” Juncker wrote in an email to all staff on Friday.

“Let me assure you that I will do everything in my power as president of the Commission, to support and help you in this difficult process.”

EU civil service jobs are generally restricted to EU citizens and Britons will lose that status once their country has completed its departure.

Senior officials have said they may leave the EU service, however, since career moves into the higher grades in Brussels requires political patronage from EU member governments.

“As European civil servants you have always been loyal to our union, contributing tremendously to our common European project. And so it will be in this spirit of reciprocal loyalty that I will work together with the presidents of the other European institutions to ensure that we can all continue counting on your outstanding talent, experience and commitment,” Juncker wrote.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; @macdonaldrtr and Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop