Es­to­nia to take EU pres­i­dency from Bri­tain

Daily Trust - - AROUND THE WORLD -

Es­to­nia is set to take over the ro­tat­ing EU pres­i­dency from Bri­tain in late 2017 af­ter Lon­don re­lin­quished the role to fo­cus on ne­go­ti­a­tions to leave the bloc, a spokesman for EU pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk said Wed­nes­day.

In the first ma­jor step to­wards Brexit af­ter last month’s shock ref­er­en­dum re­sult, Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May an­nounced Wed­nes­day that Bri­tain would no longer take the po­si­tion next July.

Tusk’s spokesman told AFP there was “broad agree­ment” when EU am­bas­sadors met in Brus­sels “that Es­to­nia’s pres­i­dency be brought for­ward by six months to take the place of the UK”.

He added that “sub­se­quent pres­i­den­cies, in the or­der they are cur­rently fore­seen, would all in turn be brought for­ward by six months”, mean­ing that Bul­garia will now take over in Jan­uary 2018.

“It is hoped that this re­sult will be con­firmed through a for­mal de­ci­sion shortly,” the spokesman added.

Bel­gium had ear­lier been in the frame to take on the pres­i­dency af­ter Bri­tain dropped out.

An­other EU diplo­mat con­firmed there was broad agree­ment on the change to Es­to­nia.

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