French president urges UK to launch EU exit process

 French president urges UK to launch EU exit process
# 21 July 2016 18:54 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. French President Francois Hollande and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny have urged Britain Thursday to launch the process of leaving the EU "as soon as possible", APA reports quoting Anadolu.

Hollande arrived in the Irish capital of Dublin on Thursday.

Both leaders in a joint statement said that they "looked forward to the notification as soon as possible by the new British government of the UK's intention to withdraw from the Union".

"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," the statement said.

In a news conference following the statement, Hollande said his meeting with the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May in Paris Thursday evening would be an “opportunity” to hear the arguments for the delay.

"I will meet Theresa May tonight. That will be the opportunity to hear the arguments. What is the interest of delaying? I would like justifications,” he stated.

Hollande has also emphasized that “access to the single market cannot be guaranteed unless free movement of workers is respected."

In a joint press conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, Theresa May said that all sides needed time to prepare for the exit negotiations.

She said that the U.K. wanted an orderly exit from the EU and would not invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union - which initiates the process of withdrawal from the bloc - until the end of the year.

In June, British voters decided by a narrow margin, and against their government’s advice, to leave the EU in a referendum.