PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER: Press conference delivered by President Donald Tusk and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

The guidelines that have just been submitted by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk are constructive, said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat during a press conference delivered alongside the President of the European Council Donald Tusk who outlined the main proposals for the draft guidelines on Brexit.

These will be very tough and unprecedented negotiations for the European Union since, previously, in all such negotiations, it was about getting closer to another country, said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at Auberge de Castille.

It will be tough, but we are not at war-the two sides will need to be friends, emphasised the Maltese Prime Minister.

The first priority is the settling of issues relating to citizens, making sure that British citizens in the EU and EU citizens in Britain will not be used as bargaining chips.

Prime Minister Muscat said that the twenty-seven member states do not see any role for parallel negotiations. He explained that the European Union and the member states are showing flexibility in making it clear that they are ready for the transition periods that are necessary, but that such periods are governed by European institutions.

The issue of Northern Ireland is being given serious consideration by the twenty-seven member states since we know the sensitivity that exists on the Irish issue, and we are looking at innovative and pragmatic approaches on the matter, concluded the Maltese Prime Minister.

Before presenting an outline of the main proposals for the draft guidelines on Brexit, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk congratulated Prime Minister Muscat and said that a steady rotating presidency is given more importance in times like these.

Source: Government of Malta