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Estonia to take over EU presidency from UK

Slovakia currently holds the presidency and will be followed by Malta in the first half of 2017. Photograph: (Getty)

AFP Brussels, Belgium Jul 26, 2016, 08.52 PM (IST)
Estonia will take over the rotating EU presidency from Britain in late 2017 after London pulled out to focus on negotiations to leave the bloc, the 28 members of the union said yesterday.

In the first major step towards Brexit after last month's shock referendum result, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Britain would no longer take up its scheduled six-month stint next July.

Ambassadors of the 28 member states had reached a "broad agreement" on July 20 to bring forward Estonia's presidency by six months to take Britain's place, a spokesman for European Council president Donald Tusk said last week.

A statement on yesterday said that decision was formalised.

Croatia, which in 2013 became the latest state to join the EU, will take over the presidency in the first semester of 2020, the members' statement added.

Slovakia currently holds the presidency and will be followed by Malta in the first half of 2017.

(AFP)
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