Founding EU Members Tell Britain: Leave as Soon as Possible

The leaders say they do not want an extended limbo period.

1 min read
Foreign Ministers of Luxembourg, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands attend talks about the so-called Brexit in Berlin. (Photo: AP)

Foreign Ministers from the European Union’s six founding nations met in Berlin on Saturday for hastily arranged talks following Britain’s stunning vote to leave the bloc.

They want Britain to begin leaving the union “as soon as possible” as France urged a new British prime minister to take office quickly.

We are in agreement that London must not wait to start the complex procedure of extracting itself from the bloc. We join together in saying that this process must begin as soon as possible so we don’t end up in an extended limbo period but rather can focus on the future of Europe and the work toward it.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister

His French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault said it was urgent that David Cameron, who on Friday said he would resign by October, clear the way for new leadership to manage the transition out of the union.

In announcing his resignation, Cameron said it should be his successor who leads the negotiations under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty which sets out a two-year timeframe to leave.

However Steinmeier, Ayrault, the Netherlands’ Bert Koenders, Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni, Belgium’s Didier Reynders and Luxemburg’s Jean Asselborn stressed that time was of the essence.

(With agency inputs.)

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