The Latest: Obama: UK decision to leave EU will 'stick'

AP News
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Posted: Jul 09, 2016 1:59 PM
The Latest: Obama: UK decision to leave EU will 'stick'

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain's vote to leave the European Union (all times local):

7:00 p.m.

President Barack Obama says the United Kingdom and the European Union must make sure that Britain's exit from the 28-nation bloc is as sensible and orderly as possible.

He says he has to assume that Britain's decision "is going to stick," but how the process unfolds is up to both sides, and it's important that neither one harden its position in a way that damages economies at home or worldwide.

The U.S., he said, will continue to be close friends and commercial partners with both. He said: "In good times and in bad, Europe can count on the United States — always."

Obama said he would not call himself a big booster of globalization, adding it carries a danger of increased inequality in which workers may have less leverage. But, he said, it's here to stay.

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1:20 p.m.

Poland's foreign minister says that a group of four central European countries would like to hold talks with Britain to discuss its separation from the European Union and its future status "in a civilized way."

Witold Waszczykowski spoke Saturday after he met with the foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary at the sidelines of the NATO summit in Warsaw. The four countries form the so-called Visegrad Group that is a platform for discussing the region's local and European policy.

Waszczykowski said the group wants to hold meetings and consultations with other countries.

He said such talks might open "soon" with Britain to "consult in a civilized way the divorce and the future status of Britain and the European Union."

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met with Waszczykowski later in the day and expressed "great interest" in having talks with the Visegrad Group, according to Rafal Sobczak, a spokesman for Poland's Foreign Ministry.

The U.K. recently voted to leave the European Union but is still to formally request talks on the terms of its exit, or Brexit.

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11:05 a.m.

Two Conservative women running to become Britain's next leader are facing a question that wouldn't be raised if there were male candidates for the job: Does being a mother make you better qualified to be prime minister?

A political maelstrom erupted Saturday after contender Andrea Leadsom suggested in an interview that her status as a mother gives her an advantage over rival Theresa May, who does not have children.

Leadsom told the Times that she doesn't "want this to be 'Andrea has children, Theresa hasn't' because I think that would be really horrible. But genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake. She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children."