Joseph Muscat, who had previously claimed the UK could be subject to the European Court of Justice for years to come if a transitional deal was struck, praised Theresa May for providing “clarity” in her Brexit speech but maintained his position.
He also responded to Tory Brexiteer Bernard Jenkin, who launched a scathing attack on the Maltese politician last week.
The MP told Radio 4: “What you’ve got is a Maltese Prime Minister who is anxious to scoop for his tiny little island some of the spoils that he believes will fall out of Brexit.”
Responding on Sky News, Mr Muscat said “the world is becoming a very different place”.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the EU and the UK "will lose" because of Brexit
I do think that this is a situation where everyone will lose. I don’t see a situation where Europe will be stronger or the UK will be stronger out of this process
“Well, in politics you say things – I don’t know Mr Jenkin, I don’t know the context in which he said it, I’m not particularly keen on engaging with him,” he said.
“I do think that this is a situation where everyone will lose. I don’t see a situation where Europe will be stronger or the UK will be stronger out of this process.
“It will be a different place, the world is becoming a very different place from what we know it [as] but we have to keep a positive outlook and we have to make sure that the European project goes ahead.”
The response comes after the Maltese leader said he did not see Mrs May’s Brexit speech as a threat to European stability.
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Bernard Jenkin said the Maltese leader was "anxious to scoop for his tiny little island"
He said: “I’ve heard what the Prime Minister has said and I’ve read the headlines in today’s front pages and I really couldn’t relate the two.
“I thought the Prime Minister’s speech was level-headed, quite positive, positive in the sense that it gave more clarity. I didn’t see it as a sort of threat that some papers and maybe other colleagues saw it.”
But Mr Muscat issued another warning and said the process of leaving the EU would be “extremely complicated”.
“I don’t think it’s as easy as some people within the British Government are trying to lead us to believe,” he said.
“It will be an extremely complicated process and I don’t think that the right approach is to approach it in a belligerent manner.”