LONDON: UK's outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron today hailed "important partner" India in his first Parliament statement since the country voted for leaving the EU and said Britain must not turn its back on Europe or the rest of the world.
In his official statement on the 'Outcome of the EU Referendum' in the House of Commons, Cameron laid out the future course to be undertaken under a new Prime Minister after Brexit last week.
Cameron said he will go to Brussels for a summit tomorrow but will not invoke article 50 immediately.
"The nature of the relationship we secure with the EU will be determined by the next government but I think everyone is agreed that we all want the strongest possible economic link with our European neighbours as well as with our close friends in North America, the Commonwealth and important partners like India and China," Cameron, 49, said, to cheers from MPs.
"Britain is leaving the EU but we must not turn our backs on Europe or the rest of the world," he said, adding, "We have to determine the kind of relationship we want with the EU".
Cameron said the result of the referendum is not the one he wanted, but he and the cabinet have agreed it must be respected.
He said hate crimes and attacks on foreigners must be stamped out.
"These people have come here and made a wonderful contribution," he said.
There will be no immediate changes to people’s rights, Cameron said, adding the withdrawal negotiations will start under a new prime minister.
Earlier his Conservative party said Cameron's successor will be in place by September 2.
Cameron said Britain's economy is well placed to face the challenges ahead.
He said a new civil service unit has been set up to prepare for the withdrawal negotiations.
"It will be staffed by the brightest and best from Westminster. It will prepare options for the new prime minister," he said.