July 14, 2016 / 11:04 AM / 2 years ago

Steinmeier urges Britain to make formal Brexit request soon

BERLIN (Reuters) - The appointment of Boris Johnson as British foreign secretary is a clear signal that Britain wants to leave the European Union and London should make the formal request soon, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted as saying.

A taxi driver holds a Union flag, as he celebrates following the result of the EU referendum, in central London, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville -

“We can now also expect that (British Prime Minister) Theresa May ends the period of uncertainty as soon as possible and makes the formal application to leave the European Union,” Steinmeier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in comments released on Thursday.

Steinmeier called Johnson an experienced party tactician who knew how to take advantage of euroscepticism. “But now totally other political tasks are paramount. It’s about showing responsibility beyond Brexit,” Steinmeier said.

May’s office said on Wednesday that she had told Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on the phone that her government would need time before beginning talks on Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Caroline Copley

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