Berlin: After Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a historic referendum, foreign ministers from six founding countries of EU met here on Saturday, pushing for a speedy exit procedure of Britain.

“This process should start as soon as possible,” Xinhua news agency quoted German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier as saying after a meeting with his counterparts from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in Berlin.

The aim must be “not to fall into a prolonged stalemate”, he added.

(Also Read: One million Britons demand second EU referendum)

“We’ll start immediately,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, adding “we now expect that the process will be triggered under Article 50.”

He said British Prime Minister David Cameron initiated this referendum in the UK, and “he must now live with the consequences”.

Cameron announced on Friday his intention to step down after his country voted to leave the EU.

“I hope that we are not playing cat and mouse,” warned Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

“The people have spoken. And we need to implement this decision,” he said, adding that Britain must now quickly start up the mechanism for exit which was defined in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

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