WATCH: Malta To Give UK Citizens Special Residence Status And Council Voting Rights After Brexit
Prime Minister announces Malta's contingency plans in the event of a No-Deal Brexit
Malta will offer special residence status to British people after the United Kingdom exits the EU, even in the case of a ‘No Deal’ scenario, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced today.
Addressing a press conference about Malta’s contingency plans for a ‘No Deal Brexit’, Muscat confirmed that British citizens who are residents of Malta as of ‘Brexit Day’ on 29th March will be issued a special residence document valid for ten years completely free of charge.
“Our point of departure is that we didn’t want to place any burdens on British citizens living in Malta or reduce the rights they currently enjoy,” Muscat said. “Their residence documents will have an unprecedented length of validity, which will send a strong political signal that we want British citizens to have their minds at ease.”
British citizens who move to Malta after the end of March will also be issued a 10-year residence document but will be subject to different rules, similar to those that apply for third-country nationals.
“However, our policy guideline is that we want to remain open and hospitable to British citizens,” he said.
As a sign of friendship, Malta will continue allowing British residents to vote in local council elections, as per a proviso which existed prior to Malta’s EU accession in 2004.
British citizens will also get to benefit from special status at the Malta International Airport, with Muscat confirming Malta is in discussions with the European Commission about setting up a preferential track for British citizens. He added that this border check queue could also include non-EU citizens from EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein), as well as citizens from other countries the EU has signed deals with.