19 Jul. — A telephone conversation was held between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and European Council President Donald Tusk. During the conversation the head of the British government discussed the country’s plans not to preside over the European Union, reports the 10 Downing Street site.
According to the normal rotation schedule for the six-month presidency, the United Kingdom is to preside over the EU from July to December 2017. However, the outcome of the referendum in which a majority of British citizens voted to leave the European Union has forced a reconsideration of all official events involving the country’s participation therein.
In the course of the telephone call, Theresa May “suggested that the UK should relinquish the rotating Presidency of the Council”. Instead, London intends to prioritise negotiations for leaving the European Union.
The Financial Times managed to suggest that Belgium may preside in the UK’s stead or that the term might be divided between the preceding and succeeding presidencies –Malta and Estonia. Shortly thereafter, the publication reported the presidency would be transferred to Estonia.