Prime Minister Joseph Muscat recently told an audience at the annual congress of the European Carton Makers Association, that preparations made for the Millennium Bug had been more extensive than those of a No-Deal Brexit.
‘I get the impression we were more prepared for the Millennium Bug than Brexit. If there is a No Deal, I would compare it in some ways to the Millennium Big and hope it is “as much ado about nothing”, but each and every one of us must be prepared,’ Prime Minister Muscat said.
The PM was making reference to the worries surrounding the much-feared computer glitch ‘Y2K’ connected to the calibration of computer calendars. Programmers had avoided using ‘19’ to prefix the year, but as the year 1999 was set to enter 2000, they feared it would create world-wide glitches in computer systems.
As the world entered 2000, computer programmers were able to resolve the issue within a few hours. Twenty years on, Brexit remains a political conundrum playing out across the Houses of Parliament, leaving the key question of whether a deal with the European Union will be struck prior to October 31st.
‘I’m worried about the fact that most companies have not prepared themselves or re-evaluated their position if a “No Deal” takes place,’ Muscat said.
From the UK side, uncertainty surrounding Brexit has had an impact on the productivity and investment of UK firms, Professor Paul Mizen told a lecture at the Bank of Malta last week.
He added that it was having a major impact on those who have long-ingrained business relations with continental Europe.
‘It has affected some firms more than others depending on the strength of their links to continental Europe. In particular, uncertainty has been higher in industries that are more dependent on trade with the EU and on EU migrant labour.’
Who was right?
While there are still questions raised about whether the UK will accept the current deal, negotiate a new one or leave without one, the UK Prime Minister is currently contesting a court ruling re-opening Parliament.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs last night that the UK’s Supreme Court was, ‘wrong to pronounce on a political question at a time of great national controversy.’
The UK’s highest court ruled Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament as unlawful, void, and to no effect. Hours following the news, it emerged that the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox had advised the Prime Minister that the move was ‘lawful’ and within the constitution to do so. Equally, Cox had told the PM that anyone contesting the move was doing so out of political obstruction.
Since the ruling, Opposition parties have called for the PM to resign.
Jeremy Corbyn said he should, ‘have done the honourable thing and resigned.’