The four principles cannot be compromised, says Prime Minister
These new developments have shifted the goalposts
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that whichever way negotiations are conducted between the United Kingdom and the EU, “the four principles cannot be compromised.”
This refers to the EU’s four basic principles for the single market: Free movement of goods, services, people and capital.
Dr Muscat’s comments came during a joint press conference with the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier.
In the backdrop of this press conference was the news that the British High Court decided that the UK government cannot initiate exit proceedings from the EU – the famous Article 50 – without parliamentary approval.
Following the press conference, the two sides began a private meeting on the current developments.
“These new developments have shifted the goalposts,” said the prime minister, adding that this is completely unchartered territory.
He said that Malta’s position has been clear from the start: A fair deal is desired for the UK in terms of Brexit negotiations, however the deal must be inferior to EU membership.
“All the rest must be seen through this lens, there is no alternative” he said.
Mr Barnier expressed his pleasure with being in Malta and highlighted the positive relations through cooperation and a history between France and Malta.
He said that this new scenario that the UK finds itself in could not be expected, and that the aim is to have pragmatic discussions with the best solutions put forward.