Corporate Dispatch Morning Briefing

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Good morning

MPs have rejected the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal in any circumstances as Parliament took control of Britain’s divorce from the bloc.

The cross-party amendment which seeks to rule out a no-deal Brexit was agreed by 312 to 308, a majority of just four, despite Theresa May whipping Tory MPs to vote against it.

The time for negotiations between the UK and European Union is over and there will be no more “clarification” on the Withdrawl Agreement. That’s according to the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who made the comments in an exclusive interview with Euronews.

Meanwhile there are few options left now.

These are the main front page stories from Malta’s newspapers.

  • The Malta Business Weekly says that a series of cyberattacks on Maltese institutions undermines the country’s aspirations to become a leading financial services hub. The paper quotes a report in the South EU Summit which says that the attacks tested the readiness of the Malta’s security infrastructure.
  • The Malta Independent reports that five international environment NGOs are calling on the EU Commission to investigate any misuse of EU Funds by tuna ranch operators in Malta, after reports of illegal over-catching emerged.
  • The Times leads with a story about poor air quality in Malta and says that more than 570 people are estimated to die prematurely of causes linked to air pollution. The paper says the rate is more than double those previously thought.
  • The Malta Independent says that while Italy came in for harsh criticism for considering joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Malta already has a memorandum of agreement with China on the initiative which was signed in November.
  • The Malta Business Weekly quotes economist Gordon Cordina who highlighted the importance of residential attractiveness to support sustainable economic growth. He said that the country needs to ‘move up the ladder’ in terms of quality of living.
  • The Times cites a report by the United Nations Human Rights Council which urges Malta to strengthen its anti-corruption and anti-money laundering institutions. The paper says the UN also expresses concern about the independence of the media in Malta.  
  • In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia who accuses the Attorney General of ‘posing as a lawyer’ for the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers instead of safeguarding national interests and protecting citizens. Delia was referring to the constitutional case he filed demanding access to the Egrant inquiry report.
  • L-Orizzont reports that the Civil Protection Department received some 37 call for assistance on Tuesday, when strong winds swept over the islands. Among other incidents, two fires broke out: one at a carnival warehouse in Marsa, and another at a hotel in Qawra.
  • In-Nazzjon follows the vote in the UK Parliament on Wednesday about whether Britain should opt for a no-deal Brexit. The Commons voted 312-308 against a no-deal scenario.
  • L-Orizzont quotes parliamentary secretary Silvio Schembri who said that Malta is the first country in the EU to launch a national strategy for digital skills.  
  • In other headlines

    Facebook suffered the most severe outage in its history, with key services rendered unusable for users globally for much of Wednesday.

    Trump orders all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes to be grounded after two crashes in five months

    A top child protection cop insists the 12-year mystery of missing Madeleine McCann will be solved

    Donald Trump’s ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort has been jailed for 43 more months on charges stemming from the Russia investigation.

    Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had a cautious approach about Italy reaching an agreement over China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), insisting it is necessary to protect the national interest and national security if Italy is to take any steps in that direction.

    At least eight Nigerian children have died and many more are feared trapped after a building containing a school collapsed in the city of Lagos.

    At least five students were killed after two teenagers opened fire at a school in Suzano near São Paulo. A school employee was also killed in the shooting.

    The British online gambling company 888 Holdings Plc announced that it secured a gaming licence in Malta and established a server in Ireland to mitigate a potential disruption from Brexit.

    While the House of Commons was debating the options Britain had to exit the European Union, British football team Liverpool ensured that all four clubs participating in the last 16 of this year’s UEFA’s Champions League go through for the Quarter Final stage.

    Cover Photo: Several hot air balloons fly up during the ‘International Ballooning Days Achensee’ in Achenkirch, Austria, 12 March 2019. The event runs between 11 and 17 March. EPA-EFE/ANGELIKA WARMUTH

    CD

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