“Whatever the outcome on Brexit, Malta is prepared” – PM in meeting with Michel Barnier
The European Union negotiator on Britain’s exit from the EU, Michel Barnier, held day-long talks in Malta, including a meeting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, on scenarios regarding Brexit following the last extension approved by the EU for the UK to leave the EU. Addressing the media together with the Prime Minister, Barnier insisted that the ball is now in the UK court, and the UK has to find a solution about how it will leave the EU, as well as regarding future relations with the EU.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier’s meeting with the Prime Minister dwelt on the latest Brexit developments and on Malta’s preparedness in the event of a Brexit without agreement.
During the media conference the Prime Minister thanked Barnier for the excellent manner in which he had conducted the Brexit negotiations. Dr Muscat added that whilst hoping an agreement would be reached in the UK Parliament, Malta is prepared both for an exit with agreement as well as for one without agreement. Dr Muscat added that it was important Brexit would not create a form of partial membership in the European Union, and statad that the negotiated agreement with the British Government should not be reopened.
Barnier declared that during the negotiations he had worked in the interests of all member states, and he would continue to dialogue with the member countries. The negotiator expressed his appreciation for the confidence accorded to the agreement, including by the Maltese Government, as well as for the Maltese Government’s participation in the process, particularly during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Barnier stressed that the agreement on Brexit is important, but equally important is the political declaration which establishes future trade relations between the UK and the EU.
During his Malta visit Barnier also met with the members of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign and European Affairs. Barnier stated that there will not be any winners in Brexit. The Committee Chairman, MP Edward Zammit Lewis, thanked Michel Barnier for managing to keep the European Union united regarding Brexit. Dr Zammit Lewis added that the UK’s exit through an agreement would be in everyone’s interest.