EU reschedules summit for five days after UK referendum

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 08, 2016 5:57 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders have rescheduled their regular mid-year summit so that they meet five days after Britain's referendum in June on whether to leave the bloc, the EU confirmed on Friday.

The European Council will now meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 28 and 29, a spokesman for the summit chairman, Council President Donald Tusk, said in a statement.

Since Prime Minister David Cameron fixed the referendum for Thursday, June 23, the first scheduled day of the mid-year European Council, officials had been looking at how to avoid the clash of dates and ensure leaders can respond to the result.

An earlier plan to convene the two-day summit on June 27 was finally shifted by a further day due to a possible Spanish election on Sunday, June 26, diplomats said.

If Britons, who opinion polls show are evenly split, do vote to leave the EU, negotiations on a separation from the bloc's second largest economy could drive the Union deeper into crisis and take up much of its agenda for years to come.

(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Mark Heinrich)