EU chief Donald Tusk calls for Brexit 'velvet divorce'

EU chief Donald Tusk told Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May they should work towards a “velvet divorce”.
EU chief Donald Tusk told Britain’s new Prime Minister Theresa May they should work towards a “velvet divorce”.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS (AFP) - EU chief Donald Tusk told Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday (July 19) that they should work towards a "velvet divorce" as the country seeks to exit the European bloc.

The European Council president said in a tweet that he had told May that "we need an orderly, calm #Brexit, something like a "velvet divorce".

The two leaders spoke by phone in the afternoon, a Tusk spokesman said.

May, who took over after David Cameron stepped down as premier following Britain's June 23 referendum vote to leave the EU, will make her first foreign trips as head of government to Europe's other big hitters.

She will hold talks in Berlin on Wednesday and Paris on Thursday, with the Brexit issue high on everybody's agenda.

May has no immediate plans to travel to Brussels.

Britain is yet to trigger the EU's Article 50, which would start a two-year clock running on the Brexit process.