EU Chief says UK should start Brexit by Tuesday

Leave campaigners feel under no pressure to being Brexit talks

EU Chief says UK should start Brexit by Tuesday

Prime Minister David Cameron with President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz inside Downing Street in central London ahead of talks. | Photo: PA Images

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz has said the UK should begin its talks with the EU on Brexit this Tuesday.

EU leaders will meet on Tuesday to discuss the fallout from the Leave victory. The European Parliament will also hold a special sitting that day.

Martin Schulz told a German newspaper that a period of uncertainty over Brexit would "lead to even more insecurity and thus endanger jobs".

"Hesitating simply to accommodate the party tactics of the British conservatives hurts everyone," he said. "That is why we expect the British government to now deliver. The summit on Tuesday is the right time."

While four of the largest political groupings in the EU parliament have drawn up a draft resolution calling for David Cameron to begin Brexit talks on Tuesday, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said "There is no imperative on us to serve Article 50 at any particular time. We're under pressure from our EU partners to do it quickly, but the timing is entirely up to us."

2019 timeline

Prime Minister Cameron said in the wake of the referendum result that he would step down by October and leave negotiations on Brexit to his successor.

One of the leading Brexit campaigners, Conservative MP Liam Fox, insisted talks should begin with the aim of the UK leaving the union by the beginning of January 2019. "What we want to be doing is seeing a process that means we can leave the European Union on 1 January 2019. That seems to me like a reasonable timetable."

To begin the withdrawal process, Britain must invoke Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon treaty, which has never been used before.