|Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (Labour Party, since 2014)
Joseph Muscat (Labour Party, since 2013, re-elected in June 2017)
|Size||316 km2 (122 sq miles)|
|MEPs||6 (joined the EU in 2004)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|Presidency of the Council||January – June 2017|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||20 September 2016|
|Brexit priorities||Malta is a member of the Commonwealth and has a long history with the UK. Therefore, the countries’ ties are strong and Malta will be losing a strong ally in the EU when the UK leaves. However, Malta also sees opportunities in Brexit. As English is widely spoken and the country has a favourable business climate, Malta will be looking to attract companies that are currently based in London and want to move to an EU country to open subsidiaries. Firms dealing with financial services are of particular interest to Malta, as those could really boost its economy.
Malta plays a key role in the Brexit negotiations as it holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU when Brexit negotiations begin. It will be Malta’s task to seek common ground among the remaining 27 Member States as the negotiations get started.
|What Mr Muscat said on Brexit||3 October 2016
“Even the most pro-UK countries – the Netherlands, Estonia, Ireland – say you cannot have your cake and eat it… Expect the format to be more or less like what happened with Greece.”12 January 2017
“We would be really playing with fire if the European parliament is not part of the wider workings of the deal.”
Maltese Finance Minister, Edward Scicluna, on 12 January 2017
“I agree both that the UK and the EU will suffer. But the point is who is going to blink first. It’s going to be the UK.”
18 January 2017
“We want a fair deal for the United Kingdom, but that deal necessarily needs to be inferior to membership.”
27 July 2017
“I’m starting to believe that Brexit won’t actually happen. I see encouraging signs that the tide is turning … The referendum was democratic, but has resulted in a situation in which everyone loses. Doubt is creeping in. It would be good if a political leader in the U.K. would stand who’s courageous enough to seize this momentum and say: let’s submit the final Brexit deal again to the people.”
|Malta’s priorities||Prime minister Joseph Muscat called a snap election for 3 June following allegations his wife owns an offshore firm in Panama. An inquiry has been launched to find evidence there is a link between Egrant Inc, a firm named in last year’s Panama Papers, and Muscat’s wife Michelle. He has said he will step down if such a link is discovered.
Malta currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Priorities of the Maltese Government in Europe are migration, the Digital Single Market, security, social inclusion, the stabilisation of Europe’s southern neighbours and maritime affairs.
At home the Government plans to invest in infrastructure, introduce tax cuts and increase pensions for the working and middle class.
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