Head of EU Secretariat and Brexit Unit within the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality
The Maltese Government hit the ground running by setting up the unit, providing a helpline (153) and setting up a ‘No-Deal Brexit’ online factsheet. Have you received many calls on the helpline and did you receive any feedback in terms of the service that is being provided?
The helpline has now been up and running for five weeks and the number of calls was significant. Most of the calls came from UK nationals resident in Malta asking about whether their rights will be preserved following the UK’s withdrawal from the Union and asking for information on the application process for the new residency documents. So far the feedback has been positive, both on the helpline service as well as by the community during the outreach meetings in which we have taken part.
You’re currently working closely with MEUSAC, among other parties, on keeping citizens abreast on the Government’s plans in the event of a no-deal. Having said that, do you feel citizens in Malta are well informed on Brexit and its impact?
The Government, through MEUSAC and various programmes that have been broadcast, has distributed The Brexit helpline (153 ) has now been up and running for the last few months… most calls came from UK nationals resident in Malta asking whether their rights will be preserved following the UK’s withdrawal from the Union… a lot of information on the UK’s withdrawal. Moreover, the EU also published a number of notices and communications to stakeholders, which were passed on to the relevant authorities and entities through different channels. This approach was taken to ensure that the public, different industries and all those impacted by the UK’s decision to leave the EU would have the necessary information. Therefore, I believe that most people who will be impacted have a very clear idea of how they will be affected. If they don’t, the necessary support structures are in place to provide this information.
Are there any plans in the pipeline for continued support following Brexit, potentially through the unit you are currently managing?
The unit will continue to offer its services as long as required and the possibility of continued support after Brexit is not being excluded at this stage. Much of this depends on how the UK leaves the EU. Nonetheless, the Government is committed to continue its work to help the citizens and UK nationals residing in Malta as far as possible. Here I also wish to recall the Prime Minister’s statement that Malta will be “the most UKfriendly Member State”.« Back