Il-premessa li l-Ingliżi ma jafux xi jridu u li l-Ewropej żammew sammi flimkien fin-negozjati għall-Brexit kienet il-pedament ta’ kif ġew ippreżentati fil-midja l-iżviluppi dwar il-ħruġ tal-Gran Brittanja mill-Unjoni Ewropea.
Il-problema x’aktarx tista’ tkun li waqt l-inċertezzi għaqdu madwar ir-Renju Unit sa minn meta ttieħed il-vot tar-referendum, l-inċertezzi għadhom qed jibdew għall-Unjoni Ewropea.
Forsi mhix daqstant kwistjoni dwar kemm iva jew le, l-Ewropej żammew flimkien – ħaġa li tista’ tinħass pwerili meta n-negozjati jkunu ntemmu għal kollox. Aktar hi kwistjoni dwar x’se jkun l-effett tal-Brexit – ekonomiku u soċjali – fuq l-Ewropa kollha kemm hi.
Għar-Renju Unit, inħolqu dilemmi ekonomiċi u kostituzzjonali enormi. Kif se jsolvuhom verament għadu proċess li jibqa’ għaddej għal aktar snin.
Min-naħa l-oħra, dik tal-Ewropa, l-għażla li jippretendu li l-affarijiet jistgħu jibqgħu sejrin bħal qabel tista’ tkun waħda riskjuża. Issa naraw. Dejjem tibqa’ t-triq li lkoll nillipazzaw.
Qisha xi ħaġa li waqgħet f’daqqa mis-sema. Bħal fil-każ tal-biedja, tqajmet il-problema tal-majjal prodott f’Malta. Il-bejgħ tiegħu naqas bil-kbir. L-ispejjeż tal-produzzjoni kibru wisq u daħlet kompetizzjoni bla rażan mill-Ewropa li sfrondat kull prezz.
Niddejjaq ngħid “għednielkom x’kien se jiġri” imma t-twissija hemm kienet. Ma hemm l-ebda mod kif il-produzjoni tal-majjal setgħet tibqa’ vijabbli hawn fil-kondizzjonijiet tas-sħubija ta’ Malta fl-Unjoni Ewropea… sakemm forsi ma ttieħdux ċerti passi.
Bħal li jinħoloq “brand” ta’ majjal Malti li jsostni bla waqfien l-identità tiegħu. Jew inkella billi l-produzzjoni Maltija taddotta prattiċi Ewropej, billi pereżempju tinjetta l-ilma fil-laħam ħalli “ttejjiblu” d-dehra u l-piż. Dawn ma jkunux fl-interess tal-konsumatur.
Biex tgħaxxaqha, bl-embargo Russu fuq importazzjoni tal-laħam Ewropew, żdiedet il-provista tal-majjal mill-Ewropa lesta għall-bejgħ bir-ribass. Fuq hekk ukoll kont wissejt.
Il-Ħadd li għadda, l-kesħa kienet aktar minn qawwija fir-Rabat (Malta). Imma n-nies kienu allegri. It-tberik tal-annimali fuq is-Saqqajja kienet ċerimonja tassew simpatika (l-aktar żwiemel u ponies, imma anke ħmar fost oħrajn). Fir-reżħa tal-Monti n-naħa l-oħra tal-villaġġ, in-nies kienet qed tara kif tagħmel l-aħjar xirja.
F’ħanut kienu qed ibigħu il-“mulled wine”! Ħadt tazza. Kienet tajba daqs ta’ Brussell jew Strasburgu.
Ma naqsux il-kummenti ta’ dawk li ltqajna magħhom. Bqajt impressjonat kif uħud donnhom urew biża’ dwar li qed jiġri fl-Ewropa. Immigranti, ġlied fit-toroq ta’ Pariġi, il-Brexit, l-Italja li donnha qed thedded lil Malta… Kollha punti li tqajmu, hekk, b’mod spontaneju…
It-tweġba tiegħi kienet dik li wieħed seta’ jistenna. Ma kellix diffikoltà biex nerġa ngħidha: f’kull ma nagħmlu rridu nitilqu minn fiduċja fina nfusna u f’pajjizna.
English Version – Brexit
The premise that the British do not know what they want and that the Europeans stayed united during the Brexit negotiations was the baseline for the media narrative that described developments regarding Britain’s departure from the EU.
A problem however could be that while uncertainties did become a feature of the UK situation immediately the referendum result was announced, uncertainties could only now start to become a feature of the state of affairs in the EU.
It might no longer remain just a question regarding whether or not the Europeans maintained their unity – for this could begin to sound puerile once the negotiations are completely over. The real issue could concern the economic and social impact of Brexit on the rest of Europe.
The UK has been facing enormous economic and constitutional challenges. How they will really and truly resolve them will be part of a process likely to take years.
By contrast, on the other side – the European one – it might be risky to assume that matters could proceed as they have done up to now. That cannot be taken for granted. At least, the option of muddling through in policy terms could always remain available though.
It has been made to sound like it just came as a bolt from the blue. As recently for agriculture, the problems of pigmeat production in Malta have been highlighted. Sales have plummeted. Production costs have greatly increased while unbridled competition from European sources has drastically pushed price levels down.
I dislike having to say “We told you so” but the warning was there. There was no way pigmeat could remain viable here under the conditions of Malta’s membership of the EU… unless possibly some measures were implemented.
Such as creating a brand for Maltese pork while consistently promoting its identity. Or else by adopting European production processes in Malta, such as for instance injecting water into pig carcasses to improve their appearances and increase their weight. This would hardly be in consumers’ interests however.
To compound matters, the Russian embargos on importation of European meat products have helped to increase the supply of pigmeat in Europe, sure to be then dumped at discount prices. At the time, I had also warned this would happen.
At Rabat (Malta) last Sunday it was really cold but most people were in a jovial mood.There was feelgood at the ceremony during which animals (mainly horses and ponies where I stood, as well as a donkey) were blessed. At the other side of the village, where the air felt like it was freezing, people picked their way through the open market in search for bargains.
At one shop, they were selling mulled wine! I sampled a glass. It was as good as what you buy in Brussels or Strasbourg.
People I met made it a point to comment about this or that. I was impressed by how some seemed to be apprehensive about developments in Europe. Immigration, the ugly riots in Paris, Brexit, Italy’s apparently threatening attitude towards Malta… Such matters were mentioned casually, spontaneously.
To which I gave a standard reply, easily repeated: in all we do to face the eventual challenges, we have to start by affirming our confidence in ourselves and in Malta.