Prime Minister tells parliament he favours ‘two-speed Europe’

On Brexit, he said establishing the conditions for the UK’s exist should come before discussions on a future relationship

Muscat said his preference for the future of the EU was union operating on ‘two-speeds’
Muscat said his preference for the future of the EU was union operating on ‘two-speeds’

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has once again said that he is in favour of a ‘two-speed Europe’ as a future model for the European Union.

Muscat was reply to questions put to him by Opposition leader Simon Busuttil following a ministerial statement.

He said that of the five different scenarios presented in a white paper by the European Commission, his preference was for a two-speed Europe since the union already found itself operating in this way on a number of issues, such as Schengen and the single currency.

On Brexit, Muscat insisted Malta will remain close to the United Kingdom following its exit from the Union and insisted that Europe must now decide whether to deal with the conditions of the UK's exit, and the nature of a future relationship, separately or simultaneously.

Of the options, Muscat said that his preference was for Europe to determine the conditions of the UK’s exit before determining UK-EU relations after that. Earlier today, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her government will be triggering Article 50 next Wednesday, starting a two-year process of negotiating an exit from the bloc.

Muscat said that during this period, a crucial point of negotiation will be some €50 billion the UK must pay the EU for it to exit the union, adding that there must be agreement between both sides on how this should be determined. 

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