Saturday, 16 November 2019

PM Sobotka: Cameron should not have called referendum

30 June 2016

Brussels, June 29 (CTK correspondents) - Most EU representatives are of the view that British Prime Minister David Cameron made a mistake when calling the Brexit referendum, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said on Wednesday.

His reasons for the steps are incommensurate with the outcome of the vote, Sobotka said.

British politicians' slow reaction to the result of the referendum makes it seem that the Brexit initiators are not looking forward to what the step will bring to the country, Sobotka said after a meeting of 27 EU countries except Britain.

The speculations have surfaced in connection with the Brexit that Britain's departure from the EU eventually may not occur at all and that the situation can develop quite differently.

Sobotka said the talks of the European Council were not guided by the speculations.

"Our position is based on the referendum materialising also in the form of an announcement by the forthcoming British government," Sobotka said.

It must be respected now that the decision will not be made by Cameron who has announced his resignation, but by the next British prime minister, he added.

The decision on Cameron's successor is to be made in early September.

"The conclusion of the European Council clearly asks Britons to tell then how they want to proceed," Sobotka said, adding that it was clear already that the talks between the EU and Britain would be long and complicated.

It was clear to all at the Tuesday and Wednesday meeting in Brussels why Cameron had called the referendum, Sobotka said.

He wanted to have calm in his party and to win the elections, he added.

"However, I think that the majority of the participants including me believe that this was a mistake and that he ought not to have acted in this way," he added.

"The reasons for which he called the referendum are absolutely incommensurate with the repercussions the referendum will have, especially for Britain," Sobotka said.

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