Estonian, British prime ministers discuss British withdrawal from the EU

Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.
Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. Source: (Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR)

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and British prime minister Theresa May discussed the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union as well as cooperation and bilateral reations between the countries in a telephone conversation on Friday evening.

Ratas said that it was important to reduce the uncertainty arising from the exit process for citizens and businesses, spokespeople for the Estonian government said.

"It is my priority to safeguard the rights of the more than 10,000 citizens of Estonia who are living and working in the United Kingdom as quickly as possible," Ratas said.

He added that the future relationship between the EU and the UK should be balanced, strong, and close. "Having a smooth Brexit is in all our interest," he said.

Ratas also said that as the next presiding country of the Council of the European Union, Estonia would be working towards achieving an agreement that is as good as possible between the EU and the United Kingdom. “This is extremely important to us,” he said.

Ratas thanked May for the UK’s leading role in the arrival of the NATO battle group in Estonia. "The United Kingdom's military contribution in Estonia clearly and unambiguously demonstrates that the United Kingdom is not leaving Europe, and that collective defense and the deterrent of NATO are real."

The prime minister also affirmed to his UK counterpart that preparations for the acceptance of allied troops are going as planned.

Ratas expressed hope that despite Brexit, regional and bilateral cooperation with the United Kingdom would intensify. "British Airways’ making a start on the London-Tallinn route is a good example of this, and definitely a positive signal for businesses and individuals."

Ratas also invited May to visit Estonia.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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