The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has informed the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that the UK will not be taking on the rotating presidency of the EU Council from July to December 2017. British government sources have revealed this today (Wednesday).
Mrs May broke the news on the telephone to Mr Tusk yesterday (Tuesday), asserting that her country “would have enough on its plate in the negotiations to leave the EU,” a spokesman stated. London was originally due to assume the presidency after Malta and before Estonia.
This decision comes a little under a month after the British vote in favour of leaving the EU.
On Saturday, the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders, indicated that Belgium was willing to take the EU presidency instead of the UK. “We had the presidency in 2001, then in 2010 with our next imcumbency only planned for 2024,” he had added.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)