LONDON (AVRUPA TIMES)-It is up to the U.K. to decide when it starts the process of leaving the EU, European Council president Donald Tusk has said.
Tusk told U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May during a meeting in London on Thursday that “the ball is now in your court” and that Britain should trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, the formal mechanism for leaving the European Union, as soon as possible.
Their talks came a week before the leaders of the EU’s other 27 member states met in the Slovakian capital Bratislava to discuss the implications of Brexit for the union.
“It doesn’t mean that we are going to discuss our future relations with the U.K. in Bratislava, because for this – and especially for the start of the negotiations – we need the formal notification, I mean triggering Article 50,” Tusk said, according to the Guardian.
“This is the position shared by all 27 member states. To put it simply, the ball is now in your court.
“I’m aware that it is not easy but I still hope you will be ready to start the process as soon as possible. I have no doubt that at the end of the day our common strategic goal is to establish the closest possible relations.”
May has previously said she wants a “smooth” Brexit process and has rejected calls to trigger Article 50 before the end of 2016.
Britain voted last June by a 52-48 percent margin to leave the European Union, although the U.K. government has not announced whether it will attempt to remain a part of the EU’s single market.