23rd June 2016 went down in history as the day when 17.4 million people opted out of the European Union during the Brexit referendum. Since then, one cannot deny that the British state has been in shambles. The political chaos that occurred in the House of Commons paved the way for the events that followed. The government was completely divided — we have seen the departure of Theresa May on 24th May 2019, after she failed to implement a plan that her party, coalition partners and officials in Brussels could agree on. We then saw Boris Johnson’s rise to power — his success in striking a draft deal with the European Union on 17th October 2019, later secured a landslide victory for the Conservative Party on 12th December 2019, with a staggering 52% for the Leave side.
What happens now?
Now that the UK has formally left the EU, how will all the above mentioned factors affect the nation? At this point in time, not much. Britons can still work, live or go on study abroad experiences around the EU, while EU 27 nationals can do the same thing. While both parties have yet to establish their relationship, EU rules and other key points such as cross-boarder travel, personal rights and immigration, will remain throughout the 11-month transition / implementation period, ending on 31st December 2020.
Nevertheless, the main change lies on the institutional side of things — now that the agreement has been finalised, the British state cannot under any circumstances abrogate Article 50. If they later decide to once again form part of the EU, they have to submit a new application.
Additionally, we should expect more discussions and further negotiations to follow with regard to their new trading relations, law enforcement, data sharing and security, aviation standards and safety, access to fishing waters, supplies of electricity and gas, and the licensing and regulation of medicines.
One should anticipate more marked changes on 1st January 2021, when the UK will officially no longer be part of the EU. While Mr Johnson has so far dismissed the possibility of an extension to the transition period, there is still a chance for it to be delayed until 2022 or 2023, as per the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
What will change from now on between Malta and the UK?
With regard to the situation in Malta, measures have been taken to ensure that British citizens living and working in Malta, can carry on with their day-to-day activities with a residency permit that is valid for ten years.
That said, new British residents who have decided to relocate to Malta or vice versa after Brexit, can face stricter residency requirements once the transition period is over. Furthermore, the risk of losing certain benefits that are currently offered by the Maltese government is also at stake. While this all depends on the further discussions and agreements that will be held between the UK and the EU, it is of utmost importance to weigh in all the pros and cons to relocate now, rather than after the transition period.
Why should you relocate your business to Malta?
Onto the all-important question; would Brexit be good for business in Malta? Although the country is actually the smallest state in the European Union, number of companies have already deemed Malta as the ideal destination that provides a plethora of opportunities and benefits that will be good for business.
For starters, Malta has attracted huge industries such as the iGaming and Finance communities. Over the last few years, well-established companies have opened their doors to more business ventures and working opportunities for both local and international employees. Along with that, one can take advantage of the number of pristine office spaces in notable areas such as Tigne Point and Portomaso.
Secondly, the English language is widely spoken across the whole country. According to the Eurobarometer poll conducted in 2012, 98% of Maltese population can speak Maltese, 88% can speak English, 66% can speak Italian, and more than 17% speak French. Since English is also recognised as the second official language of the country, official documents are drafted in English, to facilitate processes such as renting or buying property.
Malta is also renowned for its stable economy. Along with Germany, Malta is the only EU state that registered growth during the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, Malta’s garnered a stellar reputation for its financial ability, strong economic growth, as well as its cost-effective tax regimes.
With regard to medical care, Malta offers free healthcare to all EU nationals and expats paying social security in Malta. Additionally, there are also inexpensive options, to those seeking private healthcare schemes. Compared to other European countries, a visit to the doctor is also affordable and would certainly not cost you an arm and a leg.
For more information about the post-Brexit situation and how it will affect your business, please get in touch with our experts today.