Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the UK leaving the EU can easily be considered as one of the most notable events in Europe. And the “Brexit” or British exit marks the start of the ending of the European Union as we know it. There’s still going to be a lot of developments and advancements, but what all these would look like would be a lot different from what the UK’s collaboration with EU has in the past.
The Reason Behind Brexit
The United Kingdom opted to leave the EU for a lot of reasons. For a start, the British electorate comes to an agreement that the European Union was not as vigorous and proactive as the entity it once was in 1973. Back when it was still European Economic Community, it had the bullish stamina and legitimacy for economic growth. However, in the past couple of years, the Union has had its share of challenges that took a toll on the economic growth of its member countries. Specifically, the terrorist attacks, excessive migration to the Union, the 2008 economic crisis, and the euro deal crisis all contribute to the destabilization of the Union. Besides, the Russian has also been successful in shaking up Europe’s post-cold war balance of power.
Implications on UK Citizens Living in Malta
Following the Brexit vote, France now promotes Paris as the next financial hub, while Germany advocates Berlin as the go-to place for UK’s tech talent. But for Malta that’s been a British colony for 150 years, a lot will never be the same.
Malta and the UK has had strong economic ties. In fact, approximately 13,000 British nationals reside in Malta, and one third of the total tourist population visiting the Maltese archipelago are British. But now that UK separates itself from the EU while Malta stays, UK citizens living and working in Malta will feel the following changes, albeit they’ll enjoy more or less the same right and privileges
- 10-Year residency permits for British nationals living in Malta – Rest assured that UK citizens living and working in Malta won’t be forced to leave the archipelago. In fact, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat wants Malta to be as British-friendly as possible. So after the Brexit and even without a withdrawal agreement, Malta will grant a renewable 10-year residency permit that grants the British with the same privileges and rights they currently enjoy as an EU nation.
- The UK’s business gateway to Europe – With the 10-year residency permit, British entrepreneurs in Malta still enjoys government support. As Malta now becomes UK’s possible business gateways to Europe, it has been projected that more and more British-owned businesses will be opened in Malta. As Malta continues to be a part of the EU, the country is projected to now serve as UK’s alternative jurisdiction and long-term partner within the EU.
- A boost in Maltese international education programs – With Brexit, the partnership between Malta and the UK will grow even stronger, especially in the academe. As Malta’s education programs continue to follow EU’s standards, British nationals residing in Malta can still enjoy the same world-class training, in the same way that the Maltese residing in the UK can enjoy the same privilege. The strong partnership of Malta and the UK for student exchange programs will also remain, considering the residency permits and privilege of both nations.
- Malta will be the next destination for high-net worth personalities – Malta has always been a preferred tourist destination of high-net worth individuals. But following the Brexit, the archipelago is expected to become one of the EU’s booming business hubs with more and more British entrepreneurs visiting the nation for business purposes. The linguistic and cultural affinity of Britain and Malta also makes the archipelagic nation a preferable place to stay. Besides, Malta also offers flexible residency programs to its residents, specifically the golden-visa program and the citizenship-by-investment.
Considering the long-standing partnership between Malta and the UK, British nationals living in Malta won’t have anything crucial to worry about. And with the old bilateral Social Security and Health Agreement of 1956 still in place, Maltese living in the UK will also enjoy almost the same rights and privileges in the UK.
According to Malta’s PM Joseph Muscat, Malta might have lost an important partner in the EU, but the nation will still do its best to stand as one of EU’s constituent nations. Nevertheless, It’s been projected that Malta will even have an edge over other EU nations, considering its booming iGaming industry and tourism.