Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Malta to give British citizens special status in case of no-deal Brexit

24 Jan 2019, 01:59 ( 26 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. File Photo Xinhua.

British citizens living in Malta will be granted a special status to make the transition as easy as possible in the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit.

   Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Malta wants to be the most UK-friendly country after it leaves the European Union.

   British citizens, said Muscat, will need to apply for a residency permit which will be valid for ten years. The document, which will be free of charge, will be granted to all Britons living and working in Malta up until the March 29. Those arriving after will also be allowed to apply for the document.

   "Politically, Malta wants to show that it is a friendly place for British citizens," Muscat said.

   Muscat outlined a list of other measures that government would be taking after Brexit.

   Maltese doctors' qualifications will continue to be recognised in the UK. A system will also be put in place for UK qualifications to be recognised in Malta.

   Muscat said the government has also taken stock of all the medicines imported from the UK and identified alternative suppliers if this becomes necessary. 

   Turning to border checks, Muscat said work was currently underway to find a solution, with the government considering an option of having a preferential track system for UK citizens.

   Muscat also noted that Malta's customs department would see a higher workload due some 6,000-7,000 more declarations in the event of a no-deal. However, he said the department is well-equipped and able to deal with the increase.

   Finally, Muscat said Malta was looking to tempt several large companies to co-locate and register in Malta. 

   "Our strategy wasn't to go for the big multi-nationals but to seek relatively small companies employing a few thousand people," he said.