Former Prime Minister and Maltese MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that EU/UK extended negotiations should not merely serve to postpone a no-deal Brexit. That would be disastrous. The Maltese MEP made these remarks during the debate on the ‘Preparation of the European Council meeting of 21 and 22 March 2019 and UK’s withdrawal from the EU’ at the European Parliament, Strasbourg.
Dr Sant said it is likely that a request for extension of the Brexit negotiations will soon materialise. But to fulfil the objective of the extension and end this impasse, the UK Government has to bring to the EU Heads of State and Government a clear vision of the form of the future relationship that is sought. This is currently lacking.
“The length of any extension should depend on this vision, and also on the extent to which the European block would want to negotiate. The European side still needs to make its position more transparent. For instance, regarding the backstop for Northern Ireland, is it true that an approach modelled on the situation between West and East Germany in the past has been ignored? If so, why?”
However, if indeed, the withdrawal agreement is not negotiable, it would not make sense to allow the continuation of the negotiations for a much longer period, going say, beyond the EU election day. The ongoing controversies within the British political system, will not help. Using the possible extension to push for a second referendum could push the country towards more chaos. On the other hand it would be disastrous if the extension serves merely to postpone a no-deal Brexit.

Maltese Version – ESTENSJONI TAN-NEGOZJATI BEJN IR-RENJU UNIT U L-UE M’GĦANDHOMX ISERVU BIEX IKUN POSPOST BREXIT BLA FTEHIM

L-ex Prim Ministru Alfred Sant qal lill-Parlament Ewropew li jekk in-negozjati bejn ir-Renju Unit u l-UE jkunu estiżi sempliċiment biex ikun pospost Brexit bla ftehim is-sitwazzjoni ssir diżastruża. Alfred Sant għamel dan l-intervent waqt id-dibattitu ‘Tħejjija tal-laqgħa tal-Kunsill Ewropew tal-21 u t-22 ta’ Marzu 2019 u l-irtirar tar-Renju Unit mill-UE’ fil-Parlament Ewropew fi Strasburgu.
Alfred Sant qal li probabbli se jkun hemm talba għall-estensjoni tan-negozjati tal-Brexit. Iżda biex l-għan jintlaħaq u jitwaqqaf l-istaġnar, ir-Renju Unit irid iressaq viżjoni ċara ta’ x’relazzjoni tixtieq mal-UE quddiem il-mexxejja u l-Gvernijiet tal-pajjiżi Ewropej.
“Din il-viżjoni bħalissa hija nieqsa.”
Alfred Sant qal li kemm jitwal dan iż-żmien għandu jiddependi fuq din il-viżjoni, u wkoll fuq sa fejn l-UE lesta tinnegozja. In-naħa Ewropea għad trid tagħmel il-pożizzjoni tagħha aktar trasparenti.
“Pereżempju, fir-rigward tal-backstop għall-Irlanda ta’ Fuq, huwa veru li ġiet injorata proposta mfassla fuq is-sitwazzjoni bejn il-Punent u l-Ġermanja tal-Lvant fil-passat? Jekk iva, għaliex?”
Alfred Sant qal li jekk il-ftehim tal-irtirar ma jistax jiġi nnegozjat, ma jagħmilx sens li tkun permessa l-kontinwazzjoni tan-negozjati għal perjodu ħafna itwal, jiġifieri, wara l-jum tal-elezzjoni tal-UE. Il-kontroversji li għaddejjin fis-sistema politika Brittanika, mhux se jgħinu. Jekk l-estensjoni possibbli tintuża biex timbotta għat-tieni referendum il-pajjiż jista’ jersaq lejn aktar kaos. Min-naħa l-oħra jkun diżastruż kieku l-estensjoni sservi biss biex tipposponi Brexit bla ftehim.