U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is due to attend a European summit in Brussels on Tuesday where pressure is expected to be applied on the U.K. to trigger Article 50 to start the process of leaving the European Union (EU).
EU leaders are expected to debate the U.K.’s decision last Thursday to leave the economic and political bloc made up of 28 countries, which has prompted turmoil in global markets and crisis in the political establishment, both in the U.K. and EU.
However the U.K. has yet to trigger Article 50 which begins the leaving process despite calls from other EU leaders to do so – meaning that the summit could be acrimonious.
The U.K. has said it wants to know where it stands with the EU before triggering the untested procedure. The prime minister resigned on Friday following the Brexit result and said he would stay on until a new leader is elected to oversee the Brexit process – now expected to be in September. Only then, he said, would Article 50 be enacted, triggering a withdrawal process that can take up to two years.
With the exit procedure postponed, EU leaders are in no mood to placate the U.K. or rush to the negotiating table. Many are not happy with the delay in triggering Article 50, fearing that it will prolong uncertainty for the European economy and political establishment that is already facing a rise in populism and anti-EU sentiment.