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Maltese PM Warns London EU May 'Bash Back' During Brexit Talks

© REUTERS / Neil HallBrexit
Brexit - Sputnik International
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Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat said Brussels will take a tough stance during Brexit negotiations.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union is not “bluffing” considering the terms of Brexit and it is going to take a tough stance in the forthcoming negotiations with the United Kingdom, Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat said Friday.

“I know there is absolutely no bluffing from the European side …  in the UK it is a fair game to bash Brussels and then you do not need to be surprised if Brussels bash you back … it won't be a situation where one side gains and the other side loses, we are all going to lose something,” Muscat told the BBC broadcaster.

According to Muscat, the European Union is not going to settle with the proposals of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who suggested that the United Kingdom would still have access to the EU single market after Brexit, while imposing limits on the freedom of movement of EU citizens.

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Muscat also said that the United Kingdom would have to pay financial settlement in order to leave the bloc.  The Maltese prime minister reminded about the possibility of the European Parliament vetoing the UK move to trigger Article 50 of the EU code, which means the start of an exit process from the bloc.

Malta is set to assume the presidency of the European Union in January.

The UK government has said that it would not reveal its negotiating positions on Brexit before the talks with the bloc take place.

On June 23, the United Kingdom voted on referendum to leave the European Union. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that the country would trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017, thus kick-starting withdrawal negotiations. The timing was later reaffirmed despite the High Court ruling in November that the government must seek parliamentary approval before triggering the article.

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