Malta has set up a special Brexit helpline amid growing concerns that the island will be hit hard if Britain crashes out of the EU at the end of the month.
The service on 153 has been launched to help Maltese people and businesses with close ties to the UK prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
The helpline is part of a wider government information campaign, launched by Malta’s minister for Europe Edward Zammit Lewis.
He said the Be Prepared campaign will explain in clear terms how Malta will be affected by Brexit.
He added: ‘The Maltese government is committed to supporting business in preparing for Brexit.
‘Despite the uncertainty, Maltese companies can and should be taking immediate action to mitigate the potential risks and position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities.’
So what impact will Brexit have on you? Here’s what we know so far:
UK nationals in Malta
British people living in Malta before October 31 will have to apply for a new residence status.
The one-page free application for the new status will be valid for a 10-year renewable period.
Maltese nationals in the UK
Maltese nationals living in the UK prior to October 2019 should apply for an EU settlement form.
Free applications can be made until the end of 2020. You can find them on the Home Office website.
Maltese people living in Britain will still be able to vote in elections if they are registered and will remain entitled to the same rights in the UK they have now.
After December 2020, an Australian-style points system will apply for Maltese citizens wishing to migrate to the UK.
A valid Maltese passport will be needed for travel to the UK. Your ID card won’t be enough.
Brits coming to Malta can do so without a visa, provided their stay is for no longer than three months.
The Malta Tourism Authority will step up its marketing campaign in the UK to lessen the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the Maltese holiday industry.
Will Maltese students in the UK be affected?
Earlier this year the European Parliament adopted new regulations to prevent the Erasmus programme being disrupted after Brexit.
This ensures that students who are abroad on Erasmus placements on the day the UK leaves the European Union will not have their studies interrupted.
No need to worry.
Pension payments to and from Malta and the UK will continue to be paid out as normal for social security contributions paid prior to Brexit.
Free healthcare benefits for Maltese citizens living in the UK will not change.
The same applies for British subjects in Malta.
Maltese citizens will still be able to continue to travel to the UK for specialist NHS care.
However, the European health card will no longer be valid in the UK after Brexit.
Transport, car imports
Transitions periods negotiated at EU level ensure flights between Malta and the UK will not be impacted.
UK citizens in Malta have a one year period to convert their UK driving license to a Maltese one.
Additional taxes will apply on car imports from the UK.
For more information contact the Brexit helpline on 153.