Theresa May has confirmed on the 17th of January 2017 that the UK plans to leave the Single Market. This position is based on a pragmatic acknowledgement by the UK that the EU will not alter its fundamental position that membership of the Single Market is conditional upon accepting free movement of goods, services, capital and people and the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Neither free movement of people nor the jurisdiction of the ECJ is currently acceptable to the UK.
The sector most immediately affected is expected to be financial services. When the UK leaves the Single Market, many UK regulated financial services firms will no longer be able to passport their services into the EU (and vice versa) and they risk losing access to EU markets and clients.
Many UK regulated financial services firms are now expected to activate their Brexit contingency plans by establishing an alternative EU base in another EU Member State (such as Malta) and obtaining regulatory authorisation there. This will enable them to guarantee continuity of access to EU markets and clients after the UK leaves the Single Market.
Malta has a number of strong advantages which it can offer to UK firms seeking to establish an alternative post-Brexit EU base. These are some of the reasons to choose Malta:
- A highly skilled and educated workforce
- One of the fastest growing economy in the EU
- An English-speaking country
- Low costs – both professional and regulatory
- A member state of the EU and has the Euro as its currency
- Has an attractive tax system
- Strongly committed to EU membership
- A comprehensive tax treaty network
- Similar tome zone as the UK
- Stable labour costs
- A stable economic and political situation
Malta can also be a jurisdiction of choice for individuals to live and work. One can obtain Maltese residency and Citizenship upon satisfying a number of conditions. Unlike the rest of the European Union, Malta’s employment rate is one of the highest due to the increased number of businesses that are choosing to relocate to and set up shop in Malta.