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Tusk announces meeting to discuss EU future

European Council chief Donald Tusk says the EU will hold a meeting in the Slovak capital, Bratislava.

Published: 28th June 2016 04:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2016 05:01 PM   |  A+A-

EU_AP

Flags of EU nations prior to an EU summit in Brussels. (AP)

By AP

BRUSSELS: The Latest on Britain's vote to leave the European Union:

European Council chief Donald Tusk says the EU will hold a meeting in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, in September to assess the European Union's future in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the bloc.

Speaking in Brussels, he said he said the union would, however, not be able to begin negotiations on the exit until the British government has formally declared its intention to go. That "is the only legal way," he said.

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Nigel Farage, the leader of the anti-Europe U.K. Independence Party, says that the British "now offer a beacon of hope" to the rest of the European continent" after they voted to leave the European Union last week.

Farage predicted that "the U.K. will not be the last member state to leave the European Union." In the wake of last Thursday's vote, opposition parties in the Netherlands, France and Finland have already called for similar votes on whether to stay or leave the EU.

Farage said that he wanted out negotiations to start swiftly but insisted that "even no deal is better for the United Kingdom than the current rotten deal that we got."

Farage was booed and jeered when he urged the EU to give Britain a good trade deal when it leaves, saying that jobs in Germany's auto sector might be at stake if it didn't.

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One of opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies has acknowledged he may lose a vote of no confidence being pressed by party lawmakers following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Diane Abbott, the party's spokeswoman on health issues, says a leadership contest is now inevitable to oust Corbyn, who offered lackluster support for Britain staying in the 28 nation bloc.

Some 40 members of Corbyn's inner circle have resigned, accusing Corbyn of lacking the ability to lead the party. Party rebels hope that a vote of no confidence will force him to quit.

Abbott acknowledged Corbyn could lose the no confidence vote. Corbyn's supporters say he will stand again for the leadership and will win again because of his strong standing with the party's grass roots.

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British treasury chief George Osborne says tax rises and spending cuts are inevitable now that the country has voted to leave the Europe Union.

Osborne says his stark predictions about the impact on the public finances "have started to be borne out by events" such as a tumbling pound and spiraling markets. Osborne told the BBC that it is very clear "that the country is going to be poorer."

Osborne stood by predictions that a new austerity budget would need to be implemented, but says that will have to wait until a successor is chosen for Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron has announced he will resign in the fall to allow a new leader to take negotiations forward for Britain's exit.

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The Dutch presidency of the European Union is mounting pressure on Britain to make haste with its withdrawal from the bloc after last week's referendum.

Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told a special session of the EU parliament that "No one, no one, will benefit from a period of prolonged limbo. The ball is in London's court."

She said that "cool heads must now prevail" to chart the way ahead. Britain has said it might not officially start the talks to withdraw for months. Hennis-Plasschaert acknowledged that the U.K. needs time, given the political chaos in the country. Yet she wants to make the transition as short as possible.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the capital needs more autonomy to adjust to the new reality of Britain leaving the European Union.

In a speech to business leaders Tuesday, Khan says that more autonomy is needed to protect the economy from the uncertainty ahead. Khan says he isn't "asking for London to get a bigger slice of the British pie," only for Londoners to "get more control over the slice of the pie we already get."

Khan wants the devolution of fiscal responsibility including tax-raising powers, as well as more control over business and skills, housing and planning, transport, health, policing and criminal justice.

Though London has some independence, city leaders do not have the same powers as other global cities, such as New York.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will use "all her strength" to prevent the European Union from drifting apart in the wake of Britain's decision to leave the trade bloc.

In an address Tuesday to Parliament before she heads to Brussels to meet with other leaders, Merkel said expected that Britain would want to maintain "close relations" with the EU once it leaves, but also signaled that it could not expect a business as usual approach.

"Whoever wants to leave this family cannot expect to have no more obligations but to keep privileges," she said.

Merkel reiterated that there can be no talks with Britain on leaving the EU until Britain starts formal procedure to leave.

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The EU Commission chief says he is banning any informal and secretive negotiations on a British exit until the nation formally notifies it wants to leave the European Union in the wake of last week's referendum vote.

Jean-Claude Juncker told a special session of parliament that "I want the UK to clarify its position, not today, not tomorrow at 9 am, but soon. We cannot allow ourselves to remain in a prolonged period of uncertainty."

Britain has indicated it might not officially notify for several months, perhaps until October, leaving the 27 other nations in political limbo. Yet Juncker refuses to start talks with London before that.

He said there will be no secret meetings between UK, national governments and commissioners in the corridors. "I ban that," Juncker said.

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The Dutch presidency of the European Union is mounting pressure on Britain to make haste with its withdrawal from the bloc after last week's referendum.

Dutch Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told a special session of the EU parliament that "No one, no one, will benefit from a period of prolonged limbo. The ball is in London's court," she said.

She said that "cool heads must now prevail" to chart the way ahead. Britain has said it might not officially start the talks to withdraw for months now. Hennis-Plasschaert acknowledged that the UK needs time, given the political chaos in the country. Yet she wants to make the transition as short as possible.

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Prime Minister David Cameron will be meeting European Union leaders in the first session since the U.K. voted to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Cameron will discuss the implications Tuesday of the Brexit vote as markets gyrated. He has insisted the vote won't send the economy into a tailspin, even as the country was stripped of its top credit rating and stock markets.

Calling the vote a "seminal event" that "will lead to a less predictable, stable and effective policy framework" Standard & Poor's knocked the U.K.'s sovereign rating by two notches on Monday, from AAA to AA. Hours later, Fitch Ratings followed suit.

The impact of the vote is shaking this nation of 64 million. Cameron has announced his resignation and challengers are lining up to replace him

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