The Latest: UK, France say security cooperation to continue

AP News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2016 9:59 AM
The Latest: UK, France say security cooperation to continue

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

3 p.m.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office says he and French President Francois Hollande agree that security cooperation between the two countries "will go from strength to strength" despite the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union.

Cameron and Hollande met Friday on the sidelines of centenary commemorations of the Battle of the Somme in northern France.

Cameron's office said the two men also agreed to continue the arrangement that lets Britain carry out border checks in Calais, at the French end of the Channel Tunnel. Some French politicians have suggested the deal should be scrapped — potentially giving thousands of migrants now in Calais the hope of getting to Britain across the English Channel.

Cameron reiterated his aspiration for "the closest possible relations with the EU."

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2:25 p.m.

Czech President Milos Zeman says he wants his country to hold a referendum on the country's membership in the 28-nation European Union and in NATO following the vote in Britain to leave the EU.

Zeman said he would personally vote to remain because the Czech Republic benefits from being an EU member. He says "I don't agree with those who want to leave the European Union. But I'll do all I can that a referendum takes place and they have a chance to express their view."

Zeman has often attacked the EU, especially its handling of the continent's refugee crisis.

The Czech Republic currently has no law that would make it possible to hold a nationwide referendum but a draft of such a law is ready for debate in Parliament.

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1 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says Britain should quickly produce a timetable for when it expects to begin talks on leaving the European Union.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted Friday as telling German news website Spiegel Online that he can't see how last week's referendum decision to leave the EU could be ignored. He added: "What we can expect from London, and quickly, is a timetable for when exit negotiations with the EU are supposed to begin and how the British foresee these negotiations."

Departing Prime Minister David Cameron is leaving the decision to trigger exit talks to his successor, who will be elected in September.

Steinmeier, like other German and European officials this week, didn't define what he meant by "quickly."

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12:20 p.m.

U.K. Conservative Party leadership candidate Michael Gove says that if elected he would not trigger formal exit talks with the European Union this year.

His comment Friday is likely to upset and annoy EU leaders, who have put pressure on Britain to start talks soon on leaving the 28-nation bloc.

Gove, who is running to replace David Cameron as Britain's prime minister and Conservative leader, says he is committed to taking Britain out of the EU. The result of the Conservative leadership race will be announced Sept. 9 and the new leader could trigger Article 50 of the EU constitution — the formal mechanism for exit talks — at any time.

Gove also says he would not call an early election to seek a personal mandate for change. Britain's next scheduled election is in 2020.

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12:10 p.m.

British Treasury chief George Osborne has abandoned his long-held goal of achieving a budget surplus by 2020 in the wake of the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union.

Osborne says the referendum result is "likely to lead to a significant negative shock for the British economy."

He says that "we will continue to be tough on the deficit but we must be realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of this decade."

The Conservative government has cut billions from public spending in a bid to eliminate the country's deficit.

Bank of England chief Mark Carney warned Thursday that the referendum result was likely to have a significant negative impact on the economy.

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11:40 a.m.

Conservative Party leadership candidate Michael Gove says he should be the next prime minister because Britain needs to be led by someone who genuinely believes in leaving the European Union.

Gove, the government's justice minister, unexpectedly announced Thursday that he is running to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron. He had been expected to back former London Mayor Boris Johnson, his co-leader in the successful "leave" campaign.

Five Conservative lawmakers are running to replace Cameron, and the bookies' favorite is Home Secretary Theresa May, who backed the "remain" side in the referendum.

Gove says he has been advocating a British exit, or Brexit, for 20 years. He says "the best person to lead Britain out of the European Union is someone who argued to get Britain out of the European Union."

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11:25 a.m.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who argued strongly that Britain should remain in the European Union, has warned that Britain is in peril following the Brexit vote.

Blair said in a Friday column in The Daily Telegraph that the future of the United Kingdom is at stake as the country faces negotiations on the terms of leaving the European Union.

He said Britain is dangerously divided, with "profound dismay" felt by many of the 48 percent who wanted to remain in the EU.

The former Labour Party leader, who won three consecutive elections, said his party is "effectively disabled" under its current leadership and called for the Conservative Party lawmakers running for party leader to spell out their plans quickly.

Blair did not call for a second referendum on EU membership but did say: "Actually the people do have a right to change their mind."

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9:30 a.m.

Political healing after Britain's vote to leave the European Union seemed a distant prospect Friday, as Justice Secretary Michael Gove ramped up his Conservative leadership bid, and a senior colleague called for him to step aside.

Gove's surprise entry into the leadership race led former London Mayor Boris Johnson — his erstwhile ally in the EU "leave" campaign — to drop out on Thursday. Some Conservatives are angry about that treachery from Gove.

Gove plans to spell out his plans for Britain's post-European Union future in a speech Friday.

Gove is up against Home Secretary Theresa May and three others to succeed David Cameron as party leader and become Britain's next prime minister.