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UK should trigger Brexit process 'as soon as possible': France, Ireland

AFP , Thursday 21 Jul 2016
UK Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May attends a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin Wednesday, July 20, 2016 (Photo: AP)
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Britain should begin the process of leaving the European Union "as soon as possible", France and Ireland said after talks between President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Enda Kenny in Dublin.

Hollande and Kenny "looked forward to the notification as soon as possible by the new British government of the UK's intention to withdraw from the Union, which will permit orderly negotiations to begin", said a joint statement issued after the meeting.

They "also agreed on the importance of maintaining the closest possible partnership between the EU and the UK, based on a balance of rights and obligations, including in respect of the four freedoms," it said.

"Ireland and France are the UK's nearest neighbours, with significant and complex economic, human, cultural and historical links. In consequence, both countries have specific and indeed unique concerns to be addressed in future negotiations," it added.

Britain voted to leave the European Union but Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated she does not plan to invoke Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty -- the formal exit procedure -- before the end of this year.

The negotiations are expected to hinge on Britain's desire to restrict the freedom of EU citizens to live and work in Britain and on what access Britain might be allowed to have to the EU's single market

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