Germany's Merkel says Brexit is a warning shot to rest of EU

A golf fan holds a Brexit flag during practice for the 2016 Ryder Cup in the US on Sept 29, 2016.
A golf fan holds a Brexit flag during practice for the 2016 Ryder Cup in the US on Sept 29, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Britain's decision to leave the European Union is a warning to the rest of the bloc, which must learn to take decisions faster rather than looking to agree new treaties, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday (Sept 30).

"This is a warning shot to all of us to reconsider once again: What does Europe mean for us? What must Europe change to be successful in the eyes of the people?" Merkel said in a speech to her Christian Democrats in North Rhine-Westphalia.

She added that Europe must decide on what it needs to concentrate and where it can play less of a role, as well as learn to make decisions more quickly.

"We must not always talk about new treaties but about actions," she said.

French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has said he could reverse Brexit if elected next year by negotiating a new EU treaty more acceptable to Britain.

France and Germany have distanced themselves from the suggestion.