British PM Cameron arrives in Brussels

British Prime Minister David Cameron meets with EU leaders for the first time since the UK voted to leave the EU amid pressure from Brussels to implement the process immediately.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrive at the EU Summit in Brussels Brussels, Belgium, June 28, 2016.

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Brussels on Tuesday and went into a meeting with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker without exchanging any words in front of the media.

He is due to come face to face with EU leaders in Brussels for the first time since Britons voted to opt out of the bloc in a historic referendum last week.

Relations between London and Brussels soured after 51.9 percent of Britons voting in last week’s poll said they wanted to leave the EU, pressuring the British government to begin what is expected to be a two-year process.

The outcome of the referendum sent shockwaves across the continent, triggering calls for similar referendums in other European countries which could ultimately end the bloc for good.

Following Cameron’s subsequent announcement of his plan to step down by October, the pound sterling currency dropped to its lowest value in 30 years.

Cameron has been under pressure from EU leaders to begin the UK’s withdrawal from the EU immediately, with EU leaders arguing that any lingering on the British government’s side will destabilise the bloc even further.

But Cameron is expected to reject calls to initiate the process, insisting that it should be started by his successor.

The British premier will participate in a meeting with the EU leaders in the first day of a summit that will bring together the heads of all member states, but will not attend meetings on the second day in which the other 27 members will discuss their collective stance on the UK.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament he would be urging British Prime Minister David Cameron to "clarify as soon as possible" the British position, but did not expect him to launch the two-year withdrawal process "today, or tomorrow morning".

"We cannot be embroiled in lasting uncertainty," he said in a speech which he interrupted to ask British lawmakers who campaigned to leave the EU why they were there.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk meanwhile said the EU member states minus the UK will meet in Bratislava in September to reflect on the future of the EU.

TRTWorld and agencies