Britain’s May discusses Brexit with Italy’s Matteo Renzi

Rome, July 27 (IANS) British Prime Minister Theresa May, visiting key European capitals, held talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi over Brexit here on Wednesday.

Renzi appealed to the British government to set out “a precise timeline” for negotiating its leaving the European Union (EU), Xinhua news agency reported.

“The Brexit was a decision of the British people, and we respect it, however painful it is,” Renzi said at a join press conference after the meeting.

“At the same time, it is a difficult and unprecedented situation which requires much good sense, a precise timeline, and a certain path,” he said.

Renzi’s words followed those previously expressed by other leaders from major EU member states, and by EU representatives in Brussels, who urged Britain to move fast and clearly in negotiating its departure from the bloc, and to avoid prolonged uncertainty.

Italy would provide “its full cooperation and support” in order to make the UK-EU negotiations as effective as possible, the Italian Prime Minister added.

On her part, May explained the Brexit would mark Britain’s exit from the EU, but not from Europe.

“We will still be part of Europe, and we want to turn the Brexit into a success,” she said, adding cooperation with EU member states was crucial to achieve this.

The new British Prime Minister explained she had recently chaired the first meeting of a Cabinet committee in charge of preparing “an orderly departure” from the EU, XInhua news agency added.

She added she hoped the economic ties between the two countries would be maintained, and even boosted, recalling that Italy was Britain’s eighth largest export market with a bilateral trade worth some 24 billion pounds ($31.5 billion) in 2015.

The global threat of terrorism and the migration crisis were also discussed during their meeting in the Italian capital.

Before meeting the Italian Prime Minister, May held Brexit talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande last week, and with her Irish counterpart Enda Kenny on Tuesday.



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