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The Queen welcomes Malta’s High Commissioner to London

The Queen has welcomed Malta’s new High Commissioner to the UK.

Joseph Cole held a private audience with Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace after he presented his credentials to the monarch.

Mr Cole has told reporters that dealing with potential impact of Brexit on Malta is likely to be the biggest challenge of his career.

He said: ‘Challenges are great, however I expect very exciting time especially now that everyone knows that the UK will have different relations not only with the EU but also with the rest of the world.’

Asked about the impact that Brexit will have on the free NHS care that Maltese patients receive in the UK, the new High Commissioner said he was confident the 1975 agreement would continue.

He told Television Malta: ‘The Maltese Government’s will is to continue with the agreement. From Britain’s side it also appears that the agreement will be respected.

‘We have to keep our eyes and ears open however I believe that the free treatment of Maltese patients in British hospitals will continue without any problems.

‘I can assure you that this will be one of the biggest priorities until we settle the whole Brexit situation.’

Mr Cole, a career diplomat, was appointed to the post in London in July.

He previously served as Malta’s High Commissioner to Canada and has been the Maltese Ambassador to the US and Norway.