Prime Minister Muscat provides updates on Brexit preparations

Prime Minister provides updates on Brexit preparations
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today held a press conference to provide details on Malta’s preparations in terms of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on March 29, 2019, while also giving peace of mind in the event of a no-deal scenario. The press conference focused on the rights of Maltese citizens residing in the UK, and of UK citizens residing in Malta, as well as preparations being made with regards to customs duties.

What will happen on March 29?
The UK is expected to leave the EU on this date, however the nature of their withdrawal is still uncertain. The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by the UK’s House of Commons, increasing the likelihood that the UK exits the EU without a deal. You can learn more on this by clicking here.

Will Maltese citizens still be able to live in the UK after Brexit?
Dr Muscat said that all Maltese citizens taking up residency in the UK by March 29 will be able to apply for pre-settled status. He also suggested that all Maltese citizens currently living in the UK should contact the Maltese High Commission for further information and assistance.

What about UK citizens residing in Malta?
Dr Muscat said that Malta wants to be the most UK-friendly country after Brexit. He said that Malta did not want to see any changes to the status of UK citizens residing in Malta, and said that after March 29 all UK citizens would be required to change their residence permits. These new permits shall be valid for 10 years and are renewable.

UK citizens coming to reside in Malta after March 29 would be able to apply for the same 10-year residence permit, but their rights would be equal to those of third-country nationals living in Malta.

Can I still purchase products from the UK after Brexit?
In the event of a no-deal scenario, all imports from the UK would be subject to customs duties. Dr Muscat also said that the government was prepared to help exporters mitigate the additional costs of exporting to the UK, and would be introducing a Brexit helpline next week to provide interested parties with further information.

Will the health sector be affected?
Dr Muscat said that the Healthcare Convention agreed to between Malta and the UK back in 1975 would remain in place, and will not be affected as a result of Brexit. He also said that Maltese doctors trained in the UK would be recognised according to existing arrangements.

Regarding medicines, suppliers outside the UK have been identified and stockpiling of medicines has also been done with a number of actions in store in the event of a no-deal scenario to ensure that prices of medicines remain stable and to avoid a situation where certain medicines end up out of stock.

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