situation report

U.K.: German Chancellor Says No Need To Expedite Brexit

2 MINS READJun 25, 2016 | 19:36 GMT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said June 25 that she believes there is no reason to expedite the British exit from the European Union, contradicting European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Reuters reported. Merkel said that the exit should be methodical and that the United Kingdom would remain a close economic partner. Juncker said June 24 that the bloc should not wait until after October to negotiate the terms of the departure, in spite of British Prime Minister David Cameron's wish to delay until he leaves his post. European Council President Donald Tusk appointed Belgian diplomat Didier Seeuws on June 25 to head a special task force on the United Kingdom that will coordinate the Brexit. The untested Lisbon treaty provision for leaving the bloc allows two years of transition. The debate over the delay is between those who fear that the British vote will inspire other Euroskeptics and those who fear the fallout of a swift exit. In fact, Slovakia's right-wing People's Party is circulating a petition to hold its own exit referendum, and a party in the Netherlands has expressed interest as well.

Within the United Kingdom, Scottish and Irish politicians continued to react to the success of the "leave" ticket. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reiterated June 25 her intention to keep Scotland in the European Union and said she would pursue immediate talks with EU officials. The European Commission responded by saying that Scotland was a part of the United Kingdom and that it would not engage in speculation. Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan of Ireland said June 25 that a referendum on Northern Ireland unifying with the Republic of Ireland should not be held amid Brexit proceedings. This follows calls by Northern Ireland's Sinn Fein on June 24 to invoke a provision in the 1998 peace deal and hold a referendum on leaving the United Kingdom. Both Northern Ireland and Scotland voted in favor of remaining in the European Union, in contrast to England and Wales.


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