Cameron wants 'closest possible' EU relations after Brexit

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. (Geoffroy Van der Hasselt, AP)
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. (Geoffroy Van der Hasselt, AP)

Brussels - Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday he wants the "closest possible" relations with the EU after Britain voted to leave the bloc, adding the split should be "as constructive as possible".

As he arrived at a Brussels summit, Cameron, who is to step down within weeks, told reporters that, while Britain was leaving the EU, "we mustn't be turning our backs on Europe".

"These countries are our neighbours, our friends, our allies, our partners," he added.

"I very much hope we'll seek the closest possible relationship in terms of trade and co-operation and security, because that is good for us and that is good for them."

Cameron, who led the campaign for Britain to stay in the bloc, is under pressure from other European leaders to hurry up and file divorce proceedings by triggering the so-called Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

But Cameron has said that he will not take this step, which would start a two-year countdown until Britain's departure.

He said this was up to his successor, who is expected to take office in September.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin earlier on Tuesday that Britain could not expect special treatment and "cherry-pick" in its negotiations.

"Anyone wishing to leave this family cannot expect to lose all the obligations but keep the privileges," Merkel told the German parliament.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 7024 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 8133 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.20
(-0.15)
ZAR/GBP
21.21
(-0.08)
ZAR/EUR
19.18
(-0.19)
ZAR/AUD
11.58
(-0.31)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.25)
Gold
1910.24
(+0.29)
Silver
24.78
(+0.42)
Platinum
888.00
(+0.92)
Brent Crude
42.50
(+1.69)
Palladium
2371.00
(+0.64)
All Share
55277.62
(+0.88)
Top 40
50728.22
(+0.90)
Financial 15
10437.20
(+0.59)
Industrial 25
74824.77
(+0.94)
Resource 10
53312.51
(+0.93)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo