David Cameron faces EU music after shock Brexit vote

Posted By: PTI
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Brussels, June 28: British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived for a grim EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, where angry European leaders tightened the screws to hurry Britain's exit from Europe.

Five days after Britons stunned the European Union by voting to quit the 28-nation bloc, key European leaders bluntly told Britain they wanted it to leave quickly -- and not expect special treatment.

Also read: EU lawmakers to press UK for quick exit ahead of summit

Brexit: EU want Britain to leave soon

European President Donald Tusk said the bloc was ready to start divorce proceedings with Britain "even today" and the European Parliament called on Britain to initiate the departure process "as soon as possible."

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Cameron could not "cherry-pick" in the exit negotiations -- and there would be a price for Britain to pay. "Anyone wishing to leave this family cannot expect to lose all the obligations but keep the privileges," Merkel told the German parliament.

The summit, starting mid-afternoon, takes place amid deep anger among the 27 other European leaders over Cameron's decision firstly to call the 'Brexit' referendum -- and secondly his handling of the campaign itself.

That resentment has been compounded by fury over suspicions that Britain will now drag its feet over leaving, which would boost rising eurosceptic forces within the EU.

Cameron, who had fought to remain in the EU and has said he will step down, told his parliament on Monday that he will not yet start the two-year countdown on leaving the EU. It begins when Britain formally invokes Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

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His successor is not expected to be appointed until September. But European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking in a stormy session of the European Parliament where he was heckled by Brexiteer Nigel Farage, told Cameron to waste no time, adding: "No notification (of Article 50), no negotiation".

"It is we who must decide what happens, not just those who wish to leave the European Union," Juncker said, echoing comments on Monday from Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Berlin.

Juncker said he had banned officials from holding "secret" talks with Britain. "There will be no informal or formal talks on the exit of Britain until an application has been filed to leave the European Union," Merkel has said.

Stoking the pressure, the European Parliament today passed a resolution at an emergency session calling for Britain to trigger Article 50 -- which initiates the Brexit process -- "as soon as possible."


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