Concerns for Malta’s EU presidency if UK secedes
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Concerns for Malta’s EU presidency if UK secedes

The surprise outright Conservative Party victory in the UK has sounded alarm bells in Malta as a promised referendum on Britain’s EU membership could happen when Malta is at the helm of the EU Council.

Malta is due to take over the six-month presidency of the EU during the first semester of 2017. It should be followed by the UK. Foreign Minister George Vella said that while relations between Malta and the UK are expected to continue to prosper, the referendum could have some impact on Malta’s presidency.

“We have already raised this possibility with our UK counterparts and I hope this does not mean we will have to remain at the helm of the EU for a whole year instead of six months,” Dr Vella said jokingly. “Our counterparts have told us that by the time we will be occupying the presidency, the issue of whether the UK should still be part or not of the EU would have been settled,” he added.

Dr Vella pointed out that although the UK government said it wanted to renegotiate its relationship with the EU before if held a referendum, one still had to see what the UK was seeking to renegotiate, and whether the EU itself would negotiate. 

See also http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150504/local/malta-would-lose-out-if-uk-left-eu.566718

 

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