The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

Malta wants UK to stay in EU, but any flexibility should apply to all states – PM

Associated Press Friday, 18 December 2015, 08:04 Last update: about 5 years ago

Malta would like to see the United Kingdom remain in the European Union, but it is insisting that any flexibility offered to the UK by the EU should apply to all member states, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

It is not a question of who is to concede what, he said at the margins of an EU summit that is meeting in Brussels. The UK is making four requests to stay in the EU, and there is agreement on three of them. There is however a divergence of opinion on social services and freedom of movement.

“Malta’s position is clear. Malta wants the UK to stay. We are ready to move closer to the UK for an agreement to be reached. But it cannot be that there are exceptions to the UK that cannot be applied to us,” Dr Muscat said.

One other theme being discussed is the implementation of measures regarding migration. “The most important thing is that there is agreement, especially after what took place at the Valletta summit which is now an integral part of the EU’s project on migration. This shows how crucial that summit was,” Dr Muscat said.

The implementation plan is hampered by bureaucratic procedures. Malta has to take six more migrants but there are procedural issues that need to be resolved.

Malta is in favour of wider discussions on how the agency to control Europe’s borders will operate. Frontiers are a matter of each individual country’s sovereignty and there are no difficulties if this agency is to offer help. But Malta does not agree that the EU interferes in how individual countries work, Dr Muscat said.

The PM also referred to the signing of the unity government agreement in Libya, saying however that one should not have the illusion that all is settled, even because the agreement was signed by minority groups in Tobruk and Tripoli. The bigger groups are insisting that the Libyans should reach agreement without imposition from the outside.




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