Government has taken steps to ensure that in case of Brexit without agreement the price of medicines will not rise
Similar to other EU Member States, Malta has prepared for the eventuality of the UK’s exit from the EU without a formal agreement and the resultant consequences. During a media conference at Castile, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that during yesterday’s Cabinet Meeting a number of decisions had been taken as well as an identification of the various ways the 13 Ministries will be impacted by Brexit without agreement. The PM said Malta wishes to remain the country closest to the UK for citizens and commerce even after Brexit and he announced special arrangements for British residents in Malta as well as visiting British tourists.
Prime Minister Muscat said that the country’s authorities have already taken several measures including the purchase of medicines to assure there are no shortages and if possible for prices not to rise after Brexit. Dr Muscat said the Cabinet has identified 82 Laws that will have to be amended because of Brexit.
The PM assured the 13,000 or so British citizens who reside in Malta they will have a special resident status that may be renewed every ten years without payment. He also said there is a possibility that at the airport there could be a preferred entry point for British passport holders that will also include Eurozone citizens. He said the Government is also proposing that UK residents in Malta will retain the right to vote in Local Council elections.
Dr Muscat said it is with heavy heart that the UK exit may be without formal agreement. He said EU Governments are preparing for this eventuality on a national basis while the EU Commission has to consider sectors on which it has competence. He said there is agreement with the British Government that the health bilateral agreement remains in force including the training of doctors and the recognition of qualifications. In the case of commerce, in the absence of a formal agreement, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations will apply.
The PM said that Customs has also made arrangements but this will entail greater bureaucracy as it means the processing of about 7,000 documents weekly for UK goods. He said the Government has already announced that Maltese companies having UK dealings will be given support and there will also be support for the tourist sector if this is affected, say in the case of the value of the pound sterling that may make Malta holidays more expensive.
Beyond the negative consequences of Brexit, the PM expressed satisfaction at the number of companies registered in Malta with MFSA even though these may not be publicising they have chosen Malta. He said the task force appointed for Brexit has aimed to attract investors in the choice of their location and has been successful with Indian and American companies, as well as Japanese. He said that in the egaming sector Malta has attracted the largest companies in the market.
Il-PM jiżvela t-tħejjijiet ta’ Malta f’każ ta’ Brexit bla ftehim