Top EU leaders to meet day after Brexit vote – sources
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Top European Union leaders are to hold special talks in Brussels the day after Britain's referendum on membership in the bloc, European sources said on Thursday, June 16.
EU President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament chief Martin Schulz will hold talks on June 24, one source told AFP.
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the 28-nation EU, will also take part, said the source who works in the office of one of the EU chiefs.
"For the moment that's the plan," the source told AFP, adding however that it was "not yet 100 percent sure."
Britons will vote on June 23 whether to remain in the EU or leave, with recent polls showing a swing in favor of the "Brexit" camp setting off alarm bells in European capitals. (READ: Flotilla protest in London as Berlin warns on Brexit)
The issue will dominate a summit of the leaders of the 28 member states on June 28-29.
Brussels has repeatedly insisted it has no "plan B" in the event Britain votes to leave but Tusk on Thursday came close to admitting that the EU is working out contingency moves.
Speaking during a visit to Helsinki, Tusk said he had discussed the issue with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila and "first of all, we have to guarantee a proper procedure if the result is negative.
"We have discussed about procedures also for the next European Council (summit) meeting. Because we are still in the consultation process, we have to be discreet," Tusk said.
"But I can assure you that we will be ready and we will be also very precise during our European Council meeting when it comes to Brexit, and the political and formal legal results of potential Brexit."
He admitted it was "difficult to be optimistic" about the results while warning Britons that it "does not make any sense".
Even if Britain stays in, the EU will have to work out how to pass a series of measures agreed in a renegotiation deal with Prime Minister David Cameron in February. – Rappler.com