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Estonia prepared to give UK extra time for Brexit

TALLINN – Estonia is ready, upon the United Kingdom's request, to extend the deadline for the UK's leaving the European Union, the Estonian government decided on Thursday. 

The proposal to add an item concerning Brexit to the agenda of the meeting of the government was made by Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, who observed that the UK's orderly exit from the EU, minimizing its negative impact and continuation of the effective functioning of the EU are in the interests of Estonia. 

"To achieve that, we are prepared to consider extending the deadline set forth in Article 50 of the EU Treaty if the United Kingdom requests it," it stands under the agenda item that the government endorsed on Thursday. 

Estonia also supports the clarifications to the instrument relating to the agreement on the withdrawal concerning the implementation and ending of the Irish backstop solution and the clarifications offered in the joint statement concerning the details of the negotiations on future relations.

"It is in Estonia's interest to start agreeing upon the future relationship with the United Kingdom as soon as possible. The goal is to maintain an ambitious and close relationship with the United Kingdom and diverse cooperation primarily in the economy, foreign policy and the fields of security and defense," spokespeople for the government said.

British MPs voted by 312 to 308 on Wednesday to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances. The vote was over whether the UK will leave the EU without a deal on March 29.

On Thursday, MPs will vote on whether to ask the EU for permission to delay the date for departure.

It remains unclear whether there could be a short extension or a longer one, and whether the EU agrees to it. 

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