European Parliament president tells Cameron to get on with it
European Parliament president Martin Schulz said Britain should formally apply for Brexit immediately, newspaper Bild reported yesterday.
Mr Schulz said: “We now expect the British government to deliver now. The summit on Tuesday is the appropriate moment to do so.”
His comments echoed a statement by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg on Saturday that “we now expect the UK government to provide clarity and give effect to this decision as soon as possible.”
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff Peter Altmaier appeared to back voices in Britain calling for a reversal of the Brexit vote. He told the RND newspaper: “Politicians in London should have the possibility to reconsider the consequences of an exit.”
German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said British Prime Minister David Cameron had committed a “grand and historic blunder” in calling the referendum and “Britons will one day curse” Boris Johnson.
“The British have now decided to go. We will not hold talks about what the EU can still offer the Britons to keep them in,” he said.
“It is clear: You can’t be a bit pregnant. Nor have half a partnership.”
Ms Merkel struck a more harmonious chord on Saturday following a meeting of her Christian Democrat Union party.
“The negotiations must take place in a businesslike, good climate,” she said. “It should not take ages, that is true, but I would not fight now for a short time-frame.”
Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said that while the Brexit vote had “cast a shadow over the global economy,” markets had overreacted to the news. He said: “The knee-jerk reaction from the market is probably a bit excessive and needs to calm down and take an objective view.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called for a change in style from the EU yesterday.
“We must put an end to this sad and finicky Europe. Too often it is intrusive on details and desperately absent on what’s essential,” he said.
“We must break away from the dogma of ‘ever more Europe.’ Europe must act not by principle but when it is useful and pertinent.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry, on a tour of EU states, said: “The most important thing is that all of us, as leaders, work together to provide as much continuity, as much stability, as much certainty as possible.”