Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the reality of the Brexit drama is that whatever happens, the EU will only be postponing the UK’s exit by one week, because if next week the British Parliament does not approve the Brexit deal, an extension to 22 May, June or any other date will be useless.
In comments to TVM during the EU leaders summit in Brussels, Dr Muscat said that a new date for Brexit is of secondary concern and is academic, because to date we do not know if next week the House of Commons will be allowed to vote for the Brexit deal for the third time and, apart from that, we do not know whether it will vote against it or not as it has done on the two previous occasions.
The PM said that the leaders of the 27 member states are agreeing to give the UK a brief extension only if the British Parliament approves the Brexit deal. Dr Muscat said that the EU and Malta are preparing for the eventuality that next week the UK will be leaving the European Union without a deal, something which the PM said is becoming more realistic than before.
He added that rather than being disappointed by the way the Brexit issue has developed, he is not surprised, because it was clear from the beginning what was going to happen, as was being predicted by several political analysts.
“I was looking at history books, and for the UK to leave Malta, an agreement was signed in 1972 but it took seven years for them to actually leave our country and they paid the equivalent of €1.5 billion. So for them to take seven years to leave Malta, I think two years to leave the EU was too brief a timeframe”, the PM pointed out.
Prime Minister and Donald Tusk discuss Brexit and EU 2021-2027 Budget