The six founding member states of the European Union -Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, held a crisis meeting in Berlin on Saturday, and they are piling pressure on the UK to leave the 28 member bloc, as soon as possible.
Britain’s shock exit caused financial markets to fall sharply and brought the British pound to a 31- year low, its biggest drop in history.
The casualties of the Brexit vote continue to emerge with the latest being Jonathan Hill, UK’s European Commissioner, who announced his resignation on Saturday.
German Foreign Minister, Frank Walter- Steinmeier, said that Britain must swiftly invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which has guidelines for member states wishing to leave the EU, while at the same time calling for calm.
“I think we are in a situation where neither hysteria or shock is eligible. We must act now. Even after Britain’s decision, we must not fall into depression or inaction,” he said.
The same sentiments were echoed by French Foreign Minister, Jean -Marc Ayrault, who called for the designation of a new British prime minister soonest possible, adding that it would not be respectful to delay the process.
“Of course they must designate a new prime minister.This will probably take a few days but there is a certain urgency, because it is in the interests of the British as well as Europeans, that we do not leave a period of uncertainty,” he said.
While in France, Marie Le Pen of the National Front party, met with French president Francois Hollande to reiterate her demands for a referendum on France’s membership to the EU.
Britain’s departure which is the first exit by any member state, will lead to at least two years of divorce proceedings with the EU.