BERLIN (Reuters) - Britain should act quickly to leave the European Union, to limit uncertainty that is rattling investors, the European Union’s digital economy commissioner said on Monday.
A two-year process to quit the EU will begin when Britain’s prime minister invokes Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. British Prime Minister David Cameron could do that when he meets the EU’s other 27 national leaders in Brussels on Tuesday, EU officials have said.
But in the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the EU, Cameron said on Friday he would resign in October and that he would leave it to his successor to start the process - a decision criticised by Guenther Oettinger, the EU commissioner for digital economy and society.
“Every day of uncertainty prevents investors from putting their funds into Britain, and also other European markets,” Oettinger told the Deutschlandfunk German radio station. “Cameron and his party will cause damage if they wait until October.”
Global stock markets lost about $2 trillion in value on Friday, the day after Britain voted to leave. The pound plunged to a 31-year low.
Oettinger said he doubted that Britain’s decision to leave the EU would be reversed. He also urged the remaining EU countries to focus on strengthening the EU and working on real problems, such as the migration crisis, instead of debating contractual changes.
Germany should “lead as part of a European team”, Oettinger said.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal, editing by Larry King