Other European Union leaders appear to disagree with what is being perceived as Britain’s
Delay in triggering Article 50, which will kickstart formal negotiations to exit the bloc following Thursday’s referendum.
It says Britain can trigger Article 50, which sets a two-year deadline for a deal, by making a formal declaration either in a letter or a speech.
UK PM David Cameron has said he will step down by October to allow his successor to conduct the talks.
But EU foreign ministers have urged Britain to start the process soon.
Since Thursday’s vote there has been intense speculation about when, and how, the UK might begin formal negotiations.
A spokesman for the European Council, which defines the EU’s political direction and priorities, reiterated on Saturday that triggering Article 50 was a formal act which must be “done by the British government to the European Council”.
“It has to be done in an unequivocal manner with the explicit intent to trigger Article 50,” the spokesman said.
“It could either be a letter to the president of the European Council or an official statement at a meeting of the European Council duly noted in the official records of the meeting.”