The Maldives Government has stated that it recognizes and respects the decision of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to withdraw from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community starting from 1 February 2020.
A statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday assured that the Maldives will continue to engage closely with the United Kingdom and is confident that the relationship between the two countries will further strengthen in the coming years.
In light of the Withdrawal Agreement which was signed on 24 January 2020 between the European Union, European Atomic Energy Community and the United Kingdom, for the duration of the implementation period that starts on 1 February 2020 and ends on 31 December 2020, the Maldives will continue to view the UK as a European Union Member, the statement further read.
The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a time-limited transition period during which, save certain very limited exceptions, Union law is applicable to and in the United Kingdom and that any reference to Member States in Union law, including as implemented and applied by Member States, is to be understood as including the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom joined the European Union in 1973, and was a member of the EU for 47 years until its withdrawal. On 23 June 2016, during the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 51.9% of the votes were cast in favour of leaving the EU after which UK government initiated the official withdrawal process in March 2017, and formally left the bloc on 31 January 2020.