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Britain’s backdoor to EU influence


The U.K. has launched a behind-the-scenes diplomatic effort to influence EU affairs during the Brexit process by offering to lend officials to two small countries that will hold the bloc’s presidency next year.

Britain gave up its six-month slot in the rotating presidency calendar, which had been scheduled for the second half of 2017, after other countries felt it would be inappropriate to have the U.K. setting the political agenda for a union it had voted to leave. But soon after the June referendum, London began hedging its bets by trying to position officials in Malta and Estonia, which will take their turns in the presidency next year.

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