The four prin­ci­ples can­not be com­pro­mised, says Prime Min­is­ter

Malta Independent - - NEWS - He­lena Grech

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.

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