European leaders urge UK to quickly start the formal EU divorce process

EU leaders are urging the UK to start the formal divorce process from the EU for negotiations to begin.

The sooner the British prime minister activates Article 50 (the exit-clause in EU treaties) the less risk there is of further damage to the trading bloc, founding members of the EU have said.

“Negotiations have to go quickly in the common interest,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said.

EU officials are waiting for Article 50 to be triggered before any trade talks.

“It’s in Britain’s interest and in the interest of Europeans not to have a period of uncertainty that would have financial consequences, and that could have economic and political consequences,” he added.

The founding members of the EU (France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) said in a joint statement that they want the UK to act fast.

“We now expect the UK government to provide clarity and give effect to this decision as soon as possible,” a statement from the foreign ministers read.

Article 50 will not be triggered until preparatory work has been done, says Tory Leader of the House of Commons

Christopher Stephen Grayling, British Conservative Party politician who has been the Leader of the House of Commons and the Lord President of the Council, wrote in the FT that “the process has to be careful and thoughtful.”

“We would never have triggered Article 50, the formal exit clause from the EU, on day one. We need time to prepare, to set our own objectives and to put the right expertise in place to support our negotiations. Our European partners also need time. Calls from EU institutions for immediate action are misplaced. They have as much to lose from getting this wrong. On Friday the biggest market falls were not in London, but elsewhere in Europe. This is a process of divorce where things are best approached calmly and methodically.

“So Article 50 will not be triggered until a considerable amount of informal preparatory work has been done, here and in discussions with EU partners. The formal process will also have to wait for the new prime minister to be in place in the autumn, and for him or her to get their new team and strategy ready,” Grayling added.