The European Union must be patient with Britain, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday as EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a summit he will chair to chart a way forward after the British vote for Brexit. Tusk told reporters that only London could file the formal notification that would start the two-year divorce process. "Without the notification form the UK, we will not start any negotiations on the divorce process or the future relations." Tusk said 27 other EU leaders would meet on Wednesday without Cameron to discuss Brexit would also start talks on reforms needed in the bloc to keep it together after the historic blow.
BERLIN (Reuters) - A prolonged stalemate over how to deal with Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union would be costly, a German foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. He warned of the risks of an impasse "because uncertainty has a price in political, economic and financial terms," said the spokesman, adding that some people think those in Britain who campaigned for a Brexit do not now seem to have a clear plan. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Michelle Martin)
By Alastair Macdonald and Paul Taylor BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's most ardent federalists, including the man now pulling the strings in the European Commission, tried to kill off the European Union's exit clause or make it unworkable when it was first proposed in 2003. Now Britain, having voted to quit the EU in a landmark referendum, is trying for tactical reasons to avoid triggering that very procedure, crafted by a veteran British diplomat, that leads to automatic withdrawal after two years. The history of the exit clause that became Article 50 of the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon is full of such ironies.