EU delays summit to avoid Brexit vote clash

8th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

European Union leaders have delayed a June summit by several days to avoid clashing with Britain's referendum on EU membership, an official said Friday.

The 28 EU leaders were initially due to begin a regular two-day meeting on June 23, the same day as the so-called Brexit vote in Britain.

"The June meeting of the European Council confirmed for 28-29 June," Preben Aamann, a spokesman for EU president Donald Tusk, said in a tweet.

Aamann then told AFP that the decision was taken "to avoid an overlap with the U.K. in/out referendum."

Prime Minister David Cameron promised the in-out EU referendum before Britain's general election last year.

He fixed the June date after securing from his EU peers what he argues are key changes to Britain's membership terms, including taking back powers over social welfare and immigration from Brussels.

The 28 EU leaders meet regularly for two-day summits throughout the year to review outstanding issues and set broad policy outlines for the bloc.

The Brexit issue and Cameron's reform demands dominated their February 18-19 summit.

Opinion polls have been mixed overall but a survey in The Observer newspaper at the weekend put support for Britain to leave the EU at 43 percent, against 39 percent wanting to stay.

Cameron denied Thursday that a Dutch referendum rejecting a key EU pact with Ukraine would boost the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, insisting it was a "very different issue".

© 2016 AFP

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