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Theresa May tells Donald Tusk: Britain WILL NOT take up EU Presidency in 2017

BRITAIN will not take up its six-month presidency of the European Council in 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced.

Theresa May

PA    Theresa May has told European Council that Britain will not stand for presidency


A Downing Street spokeswoman said Mrs May had told European Council president Donald Tusk that Britain would be relinquishing the upcoming role.The announcement comes ahead of Brexit talks bewteen the Prime Minister and her German and French counterparts Angela Merkel and François Hollande.

The presidency rotates between the 28 EU member states on a six-monthly basis, giving each the opportunity to shape the agenda.

Britain was due to hold the seat in the second half of 2017 but Mrs May decided it should skip its turn in the light of  the Leave vote in last month’s EU referendum.

Theresa May

PA   Prime Minister Theresa May


The Downing Street spokeswoman said Mrs May told Mr Tusk that giving up the presidency was “the right thing to do given we will be very busy with negotiations to leave the EU”.Mrs May felt it was right to give other EU nations time to make arrangements for a different country to be appointed to hold the presidency during that period.

Number 10 said that Mr Tusk had welcomed the fact that Mrs May had come to a swift decision on the issue.

The spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister suggested that the UK should relinquish the rotating Presidency of the Council, currently scheduled for the second half of 2017, noting that we would be prioritising the negotiations to leave the European Union.”The Prime Minister explained that we will need to carefully prepare for the negotiations to leave the EU before triggering Article 50. Donald Tusk reassured the Prime Minister that he will help to make this process happen as smoothly as possible.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/691278/Theresa-May-EU-presidency-Donald-Tusk-Britain-2017

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