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Muscat satisfied with draft EU-UK deal that 'safeguards Malta's interests'

Prime Minister says draft deal to reform UK's membership in EU safeguards Malta's interests in that proposals are not UK-specific 

Staff Reporter
19 February 2016, 8:26pm
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat during a bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that a draft text on a reform of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU is “satisfactory” for the Malta.

“We have no control over the final draft and I do not rule out any surprises before the end,” Muscat told the press after leaving a bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. “The draft deal safeguards Malta’s main sticking point that the deal should not be specific to the UK but applicable to other EU countries who find themselves in similar situations. I think I’ll go into the next meeting with a positive attitude and an intention to support the draft.”

He described the deal as a “significant moment” for both the UK and the EU.

European leaders have been told to book hotels as talks on a final text, planned for breakfast, slipped back first to lunch, and now to dinner.

According to Reuters, the extension appeared due to last-minute resistance by east European countries, such as Poland, to Cameron's efforts to slash child benefits for EU migrant workers whose children stay in their home country - a measure others such as Denmark are eager to emulate.

When questioned about Poland’s stance, Muscat said that it is “normal for each country to defend its national interest”.

“The Polish government can hardly be blamed for their stance, as there are hundreds of thousands of Poles currently living in the UK who might stand to lose,” he said. “It appears as though any deal will differentiate between the migrants already living in the UK and future migrants. Every side must compromise and give up some ground.”