Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has met with the Chief Negotiator of the European Union for Brexit Michel Barnier.
During a press conference held at the Auberge de Castille, Muscat said that during his visit to Malta, Michel Barnier visited a number of places including Malta Customs. He said that the ball is now in the UK’s Government of the United Kingdom court and stressed that Barnier has done a remarkable job which made the unity and consistency of the European Union stand out.
In turn, Barnier turn thanked the Prime Minister and the Maltese diplomatic team for their support to him over the recent months and the confidence to show it the Maltese Government. He spoke about what his job entails, which he described as ‘complex’. He explained that his job is to to listen to what government, the stakeholders, and Maltese businesses and the national parliament have to say, and insisted that he remained committed to work for a common goal.
Barnier stressed that the EU must ensure an agreement for the UK as a country with the the Union, and not just what he called a “divorce agreement”.
As regards the political situation in the UK, Barnier said that the discussions between the British parties are ongoing. He said he will continue to follow them in order to better understand what the future relationship of the European Union to the United Kingdom will be.
He said that the EU could be more ambitious if the UK wanted to form part of the Customs Union. He stressed that the integrity of the single market and the autonomy of the 27 member states of the European Union must be assured.
Barnier is currently meeting with several members of the government to discuss the position of the Maltese Government as regards the United Kingdom.