Brexit Unlikely To Lead To Contagion, Says EU's Schulz

But Cameron, who has said he will resign by October and leave the negotiations to his successor, is to be left out in the cold on the second day of the summit on Wednesday when the other 27 European Union leaders meet without him.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz expects negotiations over Britain's departure from the European Union to begin quickly, he said on Friday (June 24) after Britain's vote to leave the bloc.

Any EU country that wants to leave the bloc has two years to negotiate the terms of the divorce, starting from the moment it formally notifies the EU of its intention to exit.

"Hesitation only for the sake of accommodating tactics of the British Conservative party will hurt everyone", Schulz told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Mr. Schulz said he already spoke with French President Francois Hollande Friday morning and will speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel shortly to discuss ways to prevent a "chain reaction".

Manfred Weber, head of the largest political group in the assembly, the centre-right European People's Party, called on Cameron to trigger Britain's exit at an EU summit on Tuesday and to start leave negotiations immediately.

At the same time, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish Parliament could try to block the UK's exit from the EU.

As messages from the Continent hardened, Britain's EU Commissioner, Lord Hill of Oareford, was forced to step down, while the future also looked bleak for the estimated 1,500 Britons working in Brussels institutions.

On Saturday, meanwhile, foreign ministers from the EU's six founding states issued a joint statement urging Britain to start the process of leaving as soon as possible. The Parliament will also hold a special session.

"There is no reason to be nasty in the negotiations".

She told a news conference it "shouldn't take forever" for Britain to deliver formal notification that it wants to leave the European Union but made it clear that the matter is in London's hands.