[WATCH] Brexit unlikely to impact Malta's economy severely, economist says

It will be Britain’s most vulnerable sectors which will bear the brunt of the UK’s divorce from the EU

The strength of Malta's economy means that it won't suffer any major impact due to Brexit, economist Gordon Cordina said (File Photo)
The strength of Malta's economy means that it won't suffer any major impact due to Brexit, economist Gordon Cordina said (File Photo)
Brexit won't have a substantial impact on Malta's economy, economist Gordona Cordina says

Malta’s economy is strong enough to remain relatively undamaged by the consequences Brexit will have on Europe, economist Gordon Cordina said.

Cordina said that, while Malta will have to face some consequences brought about by the slowing down of the United Kingdom’s economic growth, and the influence the pound’s weakness will have on the Maltese touristic sector, the impact locally won’t be major.

In comments to MaltaToday following a conference on employment sustainability, Cordina said that Malta’s rapidly growing economy would make good for any negative effect.

“The impact on Malta isn’t expected to be substantial, and won’t be one we cannot counter with our economy’s strength,” he said.

The economist said that it would be Britain’s most vulnerable sections of society that would have to bear Brexit’s worst repercussions.

Asked what effect he thought the current uncertainty in the UK would have on the Europe Union, Cordina said the bloc would be losing an important a key factor in its competitive edge.

His comments come amid confusion in Britain on what direction Brexit will now take. The deal Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU was for the second time voted down by MPs when she tabled it in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, MPs went on to vote against a no-deal withdrawal, and are today set to vote on a possible extension to the Brexit date - a turn in the situation which would necessitate the approval of each of the other 27 member states if it is to happen. May has moreover indicated that she next week will for the third time attempt to pass the agreement she negotiated through the Commons.

“The effects are obviously not positive. The divorce had to happen over a short period, and it can take a long time for a divorce process between to people to take its course, let alone when it comes to one between an economic bloc and a country like the UK,” he said.

“The British economy is suffering, and investment and businesses are not doing very well. But the ones who will suffer the brunt of the consequences are the more vulnerable segments of society,” he highlighted, pointing out that such people are likely the ones who might have voted for Brexit in the first place.

“I believe the European economy will be losing an important part of its competitiveness, including [the input of Britain’s know-how],” he underscored.

Asked if he thought the EU should have been more flexible in its negotiations with the UK, he said the issue was a double-edged sword. “On the one hand, being more flexible could have facilitated the process. But, on the other hand, it could have negatively affected the entire European model.”

Had the EU made it too easy for Britain to leave the Union, this could have led to other countries deciding to attempt to replicate the UK’s experiment in withdrawing from the bloc, he said.

“It is important that the European model - both as an economic project and a political one, which aims to maintain peace amongst member states - remains strong in the future,” Cordina added.

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