EU seeks to avoid crisis after Brexit

European Council President Donald Tusk says EU is prepared for UK’s exit, remaining European countries to meet next week

EU seeks to avoid crisis after Brexit

World Bulletin / News Desk

European leaders moved quickly on Friday to alleviate fears over the U.K. voting to leave the EU.

European Council President Donald Tusk said the EU had been prepared for a negative scenario in Britain's EU membership referendum and stressed there would be no legal vacuum after the Brexit decision.

Tusk told a news conference in Brussels that European institutions were prepared to manage the situation but was downbeat about the result:

“There's no hiding the fact that we wanted a different outcome of yesterday's referendum,” he told reporters.

“It is a historic moment but for sure not a moment for hysterical reactions. I want to reassure everyone that we are prepared also for this negative scenario. As you know the EU is not only a fair-weather project,” he said.

U.K.-registered voters opted by a small majority to leave the EU in a historic referendum on Thursday, sparking worries across European capitals over the political future of the bloc.

Almost fifty-two percent of British voters rejected their country's 43-year membership of the EU.

 

- Leaders to discuss Brexit next week

Tusk said leaders of the other 27 EU member states would have an informal meeting next week in Brussels, without the participation of the U.K., to discuss the details of the Brexit.

“All the procedures for the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU are clear and set out in the treaties,” he said.

“In order to discuss the details of further proceedings, I have offered the leaders an informal meeting of the 27 on the margins of the European Council summit. And I will also propose to the leaders that we start a wider reflection on the future of our union.” 

Tusk dismissed speculation about the future of European integration. 

“Today, on behalf of the 27 leaders, I can say that we are determined to keep our unity as 27. For all of us, the union is the framework for our common future,” he stressed.

 

- Foreign ministers to meet in Berlin

Meanwhile, EU heavyweight Germany has invited six founding members of the European Union for talks in Berlin on Saturday.

The Foreign Ministry announced that foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – will discuss recent developments in the EU.

The ministry did not give any further detail about the agenda of the ministers.  

Germany had repeatedly stressed before the Brexit referendum that it wanted Britain to stay within the bloc.

Senior members of the German government had expressed worries that Brexit might trigger similar referendums in other EU member states, fueling nationalist movements and divisions among European states.

 

- France ‘regrets’ Brexit

Europe’s other major power, France, also expressed regret on Friday over the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU.

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Twitter: “Sad for the United Kingdom. Europe continues but it must react and regain the confidence of the people. This is urgent. "

President Francois Hollande gathered a ministerial meeting on Friday morning to discuss the Brexit with his close aides.

Meanwhile, France’s far-right has welcomed the outcome of the referendum in the U.K.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, called for a similar referendum in France. 

"Victory for freedom! As I asked for years, it is now time to the same referendum in France and the EU countries," she tweeted.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Haziran 2016, 14:28
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