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Leave soon, EU urges Britain, as call for reform gathers momentum

Shocked by the Brexit, EU leaders want the UK to start the process of exiting the bloc before new leadership takes over
BRUSSELS, Feb. 20, 2016 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a press conference at the end of an extraordinary two-day EU summit at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 19, 2016. European leaders on Friday night reached a deal on British Prime Minister David Cameron's reforms to give UK special status in the EU after marathon talks. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan/IANS)

European Union (EU) has asked Britain to leave the economic bloc as soon as possible. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said he was “very sad” that Britain had voted to leave, but added that there would be “no renegotiation” of Britain’s membership.

British premier David Cameron has said that he will leave the exit negotiations to his successor who will be elected in the Conservative Party conference in October.

Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament has said that EU is studying whether they could trigger the Article 50 of Libson treaty quickly. Article 50 deals with the procedure to be followed in case a member country decides to leave the grouping. Britian is the first country to leave EU.

Schulz said the unilateral declaration of Britian to wait till October to start  the process of divorce can’t be the last word.

Jean-Claude Juncker said “Britons decided yesterday that they want to leave the European Union, so it doesn’t make any sense to wait until October to try to negotiate the terms of their departure,”  “I would like to get started immediately.”

Anti-EU sentiment is brewing in many member countries and the leaders are struggling to prevent ripple effect of Brexit. Many EU member countries have already called to reform the grouping before pressure mounts on national governments for referendum.

French president Francois Hollande has said the EU now had to make changes.

Italy’s foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, said the EU must contemplate  “common policies for growth, for migration”.

Austrian chancellor, Christian Kern, said Brussels need to start a clear reform process to boost economies, arrest unemployment and improve working conditions.

Some political parties in France, Netherlands, Sweden and Italy have already asked for national referendum on whether to continue with EU or leave the grouping. Brexit has come as shot in the arm for rightist forces in these countries.

The president of the European council said 27 nation bloc will convene a meeting  next week to deliberate on how to go ahead without Britian.

The foreign ministers of the trading bloc’s six founders Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are meeting on Saturday to discuss the fall out of a full member leaving the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting Italian leaders in Berlin on Monday to chart out the future course.

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