Britain to set up new government unit to handle Brexit: PM's spokesman

The EU flag, the British Union flag, and the City Hall flag, flying outside City Hall, in London, on May 23, 2016.
The EU flag, the British Union flag, and the City Hall flag, flying outside City Hall, in London, on May 23, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP/REUTERS) - The British government on Monday (June 27) agreed to establish a new civil service unit that will have the complex task of negotiating the country's departure from the European Union, outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said.

"The Prime Minister proposed and the Cabinet supported the establishment of a new unit to lead intensive civil service work on the issues that will need to be worked through in order to present options and advice to the new prime minister," she said. "It is the pre-thinking, it is not the decision-making, because it is right that that decision is taken by the prime minister in a new government."

Mr Cameron also urged his top ministers to get on with business on Monday, his spokesman said. "The government now needs to focus on doing all it can to prepare for a negotiation for us to leave the European Union ... and also to get on with a whole range of business that government has," she told reporters.

However, she cautioned against Scotland holding another referendum on independence less than two years since the last one after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a new vote.

"The reasons for Scotland to be in the UK are as strong now as they were 18 months ago," she said, adding: "The last thing Scotland needs now is another divisive referendum."