The Government has launched a Facebook page entitled ‘Brexit: Be Prepared,’ intended to be used as a platform to inform relevant stakeholders on measures taken in relation to a no-deal Brexit.
“Brexit: Be Prepared is the official campaign by the Maltese Government to inform citizens, businesses and stakeholders of its preparedness and contingency measures for a no-deal Brexit scenario,” reads the Government-run Facebook page.
It is understood that the page is intended to communicate information to British citizens residing in Malta, as well as to businesses and stakeholders who trade, service or otherwise do business with the United Kingdom.
In 2018, imports from the UK to Malta amounted to €499m, up from €401m in 2017 while exports from Malta to the UK amounted to €61.1m, down from €78.5m in 2017.
Malta mainly exports electrical machinery, mechanical appliances, fish and crustaceans, pharmaceutical products and printed material according to trading statistics.
While the Facebook page is yet to be populated with news items, it provides an info number for queries: 153, as well as an email address where one cant write on Brexit related matters: Brexit@gov.mt.
In the meantime, it is unclear whether a no-deal Brexit remains on the cards. Last week, the UK Government, in its submissions in court, committed the Prime Minister to requesting a Brexit extension should the House of Commons fail to pass a tweaked withdrawal agreement or approve a no-deal scenario.
The UK Prime Minister has repeatedly said that the UK will exit the EU on 31st October with or without a deal.
The Guardian reports on an OPM source relayed a conversation between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and PM Boris Johnson where the former said talks between the two sides are doomed to fail without compromise on the Irish border issue.
The source is quoted saying that Merkel warned of negotiating a deal becoming “overwhelmingly unlikely” unless the UK drops its opposition to keeping British-run Northern Ireland in the EU’s customs union.
The BBC quotes the prime minister’s office as believing talks to be “close to breaking down”.
Last week, Mr Johnson announced his alternative to the Irish backstop which would see Northern Ireland in the EU’s customs union for goods, but it would also remain part of a UK-wide customs territory. This would mean customs checks for certain areas, something the EU has been opposed to from the start.