Brussels – EU chiefs told Britain to start negotiations to quit the bloc “as soon as possible”, after outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday he would leave the negotiations to his successor, News24 reports.
“We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be,” said a joint statement after Britons voted for a Brexit.
“Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty.”
The statement was issued by EU president Donald Tusk, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Parliament leader Martin Schulz and Dutch premier Mark Rutte, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the bloc, after crisis talks in Brussels.
Earlier on BBC News reported that Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
The PM had urged the country to vote Remain but was defeated by 52% to 48% despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed it as the UK’s “independence day”, while Boris Johnson said the result would not mean “pulling up the drawbridge”.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “absolutely determined” to keep Scotland in the EU so a second Scottish independence referendum was now “highly likely”.
European leaders made it clear they were keen to get the process over with as quickly as possible and wanted Britain to start talks immediately. – AFP