EU Leaders Push for 'Divorce' in Meeting With UK's David Cameron

"Europe is ready to start the divorce process, even today," E.U. head says.

ByABC News
June 28, 2016, 1:20 PM

LONDON— -- Anxious European Union leaders today urged U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to set the Brexit in motion, at his first meeting with them since his country's vote last week to leave the EU.

"Europe is ready to start the divorce process, even today, without any enthusiasm, as you can imagine," the summit's host, EU President Donald Tusk, told Cameron at the meeting in Brussels.

The meeting with EU leaders may well be Cameron's last. They refused to negotiate with Cameron, who promised his resignation in the wake of the vote, and appeared to want to expedite Britain's departure from the union.

Earlier in the day, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, expressed his desire for Britain's rapid exit from the EU in a speech to the European Parliament.

"I would like our British friends to tell us what they want so we can get on with it," he said.

The day before the meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin that "there will be no formal or informal talks about Britain's exit" until the British Parliament votes to leave.

French President François Hollande also encouraged the U.K. to make a quick decision.

"Being responsible means not wasting time in engaging with the question of Britain's departure and setting this new impulse we want to lend the new European Union," he said.

Meanwhile, the impact of the Brexit vote continued to shake the U.K.'s political landscape.

The opposition's Jeremy Corbyn lost a Labour Party confidence vote this afternoon in London, garnering the votes of only 40 MPs, compared with 172 who voted against him for party leader. Corbyn, who was in the "remain" camp, rejected the nonbinding vote today, saying that he would not step down.

"I was democratically elected leader of our party for a new kind of politics by 60 percent of Labour members and supporters, and I will not betray them by resigning. Today's vote by MPs has no constitutional legitimacy," he said in a statement. "We are a democratic party, with a clear constitution. Our people need Labour Party members, trade unionists and MPs to unite behind my leadership at a critical time for our country."

Many in his party blame him for failing to do enough to persuade Labour supporters to vote to remain in the EU.

Corbyn has been defiant in the face of criticism since the Brexit referendum and has used social media to remind his detractors of the strength of support for him among the public. A petition on the website asking voters to pledge their support for him has garnered over 200,000 signatures.

Twelve members of Corbyn's shadow cabinet resigned Sunday.

"Following the ballot conducted today, the Parliamentary Labour Party has accepted the following motion: That this PLP has no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party," the party said in a statement.