EU Wants UK to Get Out Fast

In Britain, more than 1.5M sign petition for new referendum
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2016 9:42 AM CDT
EU Wants UK to Get Out Fast
Demonstrators opposing Britain's exit from the European Union hold a protest in London, Saturday, June 25, 2016.    (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Now that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, EU leaders don't see any point in dragging things out. Foreign ministers from the bloc's six founding nations held an emergency meeting in Berlin Saturday and urged Britain to trigger Article 50 as soon as possible instead of leaving months of uncertainly before negotiations begin, the Guardian reports. "We have to turn the page, we don't want to create a vacuum," says Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders. "It won't be business as usual." Prime Minister David Cameron is stepping down and he wants his successor, who might not be in place until October, to handle exit negotiations. In other developments:

  • A petition urging the British government to hold a second referendum now has more than 1.5 million signatures, well above the 100,000 threshold that will require lawmakers to consider it. The petition calls for a do-over on the grounds that the vote in favor of a Brexit was less than 60%, based on a turnout less than 75%, the BBC reports.

  • The New York Times looks at the rifts the British decision has opened up in the UK and across Europe. Far-right parties across Europe are now calling for referendums on leaving the EU, while a new Scottish referendum on leaving the UK now seems certain. The British vote also exposed tensions between young and old, richer and poorer, and London and much of the rest of the country.
  • Does the Brexit victory signal electoral success for Donald Trump? The AP looks at reasons why it might not, including the fact that the US is a much more diverse nation than the UK.
  • Scotland voted to stay in the EU, and Reuters reports that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is not only preparing for a fresh independence vote, she is seeking separate Scottish negotiations with the EU. "We will seek to enter into immediate discussions with the EU institutions and with other EU member states to explore all possible options to protect Scotland's place in the EU," she told reporters Saturday.
  • UK Commissioner to the EU Jonathan Hill, the highest-ranking Brit in Brussels, is stepping down, the Wall Street Journal reports. "I don't believe it is right that I should carry on as the British commissioner as though nothing had happened," he said, expressing disappointment that Britain had voted against staying in the EU and pressing for an "outward-looking, flexible, competitive, free trade Europe."
  • The Washington Post looks at the potential financial consequences of the British exit for Americans. It may make mortgages a little cheaper, for some, and will probably make vacations in the UK more affordable.
(More Brexit stories.)

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