11/25/2016 00:42 EST | Updated 11/26/2017 00:12 EST

EU gets tough: Malta's PM says Brexit is lose-lose situation

LONDON — The leader of Malta, whose country is about to assume presidency of the European Union, says Britain's exit from the bloc will see both sides lose out.

Downplaying hopes of an easy divorce, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says the 27 other EU nations will drive a hard bargain. He told the BBC that "there will not be a situation when the U.K. has a better deal than it has today."

He says Brexit "won't be a case whether one side gains and the other side loses. We are all going to lose something."

Muscat also says that Britain's hope of remaining in the bloc's single market while imposing limits on EU immigration is "just not happening."

Malta is due to hold the EU presidency for six months from Jan. 1.

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