Government and business leaders are urging people and businesses to prepare for all possible scenarios, in consideration that Brexit will impact all sectors.
In a press event organised this afternoon, Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi urged UK nationals to register for a 10-year residency card. They have until June 2021 to apply for it. In the same manner, Maltese people living in the UK should register their residency before the end of the year.
Zrinzo Azzopardi said that a “a good number” of the 13,000 UK nationals applied for a residency in Malta, while 5,580 Maltese people have meanwhile applied to regularise their residency in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme.
The Parliamentary Secretary noted that while the future of trade relations depended on negotiations between the UK and EU, Malta was still holding discussions on matters such as medical treatment and the recognition of health professionals.
Regarding negotiations between the EU and UK, Minister of Foreign Affairs Evarist Bartolo recalled that to date, the EU and the UK have completed several formal rounds of negotiations. Given the progress thus far, the Government decided to intensify its readiness work on the basis of two scenarios: a. limited Free-Trade Agreement and a hard Brexit with the EU and the UK trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
The President of The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry Perit David Xuereb said that with 50 days to the end of the Brexit transition period, businesses needed to make sure that they had everything in place, in order to ascertain a continuation of their business come next January.
We are cautiously optimistic however we know that by the end of the year there might be a no-deal exit. We urge businesses to remain continuously updated,” he said, urging businesses to participate in a series of upcoming information sessions the Chamber was organising together with the relevant Ministry.
The Malta Chamber President also urged businesses to speak with their suppliers and counterparts in the UK as soon as possible, in order to make sure that their businesses would be in a position to function post-December 31.
Further details delivered by Government today are available here.