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British PM meeting EU leaders in Brussels over Brexit vote today

The Union Jack (bottom) and the European Union flag are seen fly

London : British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet the European Union leaders in Brussels today, as the bloc meets to discuss the why Britain voted Brexit.

With only Thursday’s historic referendum as the item on the agenda, Cameron will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the European council president Donald Tusk before joining a working dinner with his counterparts from the 27 other member states, reports the Guardian.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that there can be no negotiations with Britain on the country’s departure from the European Union until London has formally declared its intention to quit the bloc.

“We cannot start some sort of informal talks without having received the notice from Great Britain. This is very clear to me,” CNN quoted her, as saying in Berlin yesterday.

Merkel said that Germany, France and Italy are united in the face of British plans to leave the bloc and that the aim is to set a new impulse for the bloc that will boost economic growth, security and competitiveness.

She said that there will no formal or informal talks with Britain until Article 50 has been invoked, shortly after meeting French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Cameron in his first address to the British parliament since the referendum said that UK is leaving the EU but the country must not turn its back on Europe or the rest of the world.

He said that he will not invoke Article 50 immediately.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty sets out how an European Union (EU) country might voluntarily leave the union. The wording is vague, almost as if the drafters thought it unlikely it would ever come into play. Now, it is the subject of a dispute between EU leaders desperate for certainty in the wake of the Brexit vote, and Brexiters in the UK playing for time.

Article 50 says: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

It specifies that a leaver should notify the European council of its intention, negotiate a deal on its withdrawal and establish legal grounds for a future relationship with the EU. On the European side, the agreement needs a qualified majority of member states and consent of the European parliament.

The only real quantifiable detail in the article is a provision that gives negotiators two years from the date of article 50 notification to conclude new arrangements. Failure to do so results in the exiting state falling out of the EU with no new provisions in place, unless every one of the remaining EU states agrees to extend the negotiations.

No country has ever invoked article 50 so far.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will also be present at Tuesday’s meeting. He had earlier said that the vote would not change Washington’s “unbreakable bond” with Britain.(ANI)

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