British families were packing their belongings in camps in Malta on Sunday (2 January) as "Operation Exit" got under way.
GV Entrance to St. George's Headquarters
CU Sign on blackboard "All Ranks Book Out of Camp At Recall Office"
LV & MV Families packing (3 shots)
MV Servicemen's pets (2 shots)
MV Servicemen's cars (3 shots)
SV & LV St. Andrews School (2 shots)
SV Military clubs (2 shots)
SV Shackleton aircraft
GV Canberras on tarmac
LV HMS Blake in mid-harbour
GV HMS Euryalus (2 shots)
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Background: British families were packing their belongings in camps in Malta on Sunday (2 January) as "Operation Exit" got under way. It was announced on Sunday that British schools on the Mediterranean island are being closed in preparation for the start of the British military withdrawal from the island in about a week. The closing of the schools and other work are seen as signs that the British are not bluffing in their determination to leave Malta rather than meet Prime Minister Dom Mintoff's price of 18 million Pounds Sterling as rent for the military bases. The British offer was just over half of that. On Sunday, Libyan technicians arrived in Malta. It was announced they're there to operate the airport after the British leave.
SYNOPSIS: The entrance to a British military headquarters in Malta...although deceptively quiet, there was lots of activity inside on Sunday as British families began packing their belongings. The unofficially-dubbed "Operation Exit" was getting under way. The activity is seen as a sign that the British aren't bluffing in their determination to leave the Mediterranean island rather than pay Prime Minister Dom Mintoff's price of 18 million Pounds Sterling as rent for the bases. The British offer was just over half of that. (PAUSE) Many soldiers' pets may have to stay behind because of quarantine laws.
British domestic laws are equally tough for cars -- soldiers will have to pay stiff purchase tax on these.
It was announced on Sunday that British schools on the island weren't opening...instead they'll stay closed in preparation for the withdrawal in about a week, a spokesman said.
Military clubs and other facilities were also closed on Sunday.
The Royal Air Force Base at Lu???a...where some of the evacuation will take place. But there's been a clampdown of information and no one's talking about the movements of aircraft based there.
Activity on the docks was muted. But the Royal Navy cruiser Blaks and the Frigate Euryalus are anchored in Valletta harbour. They were due to leave on Monday, but the orders may be changed. Libyan technicians arrived in Malta on Sunday...they're there to operate Malta's airport after the British leave, it was announced.