EU president proposes post-Brexit summit without Britain in Sept, as Parliament urges divorce as soon as possible

European Union president Donald Tusk talks to the media as he arrives at the EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28, 2016.
European Union president Donald Tusk talks to the media as he arrives at the EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS (AFP) - European Union president Donald Tusk on Tuesday (June 28) suggested holding a summit of the 27 EU countries without Britain in September to discuss the bloc's future, saying leaders needed time to prepare.

"I will propose that we can hold an informal leaders meeting in September because we need a few weeks to prepare. Maybe the best place will be Bratislava," Mr Tusk said, referring to the capital of Slovakia, which will then hold the EU's rotating presidency.

The European Parliament on Tuesday urged Britain to trigger the divorce process from the European Union as soon as possible after the shock referendum vote by British voters to leave the bloc.

The "will expressed by the people needs to be entirely and fully respected, starting with an activation of Article 50 as soon as possible", said a resolution approved by MEPs at an emergency session, by 395 in favour to 200 against, with 71 abstentions.

It is up to the British government to invoke the so-called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that starts the clock on two years to negotiate the terms of the exit.