London, June 29 (TASR) – Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (a Smer-SD nominee) held talks with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond and British Minister of State for Europe David Lidington in London on Tuesday on Britain’s plans regarding its departure from the EU, TASR learnt on Wednesday.
Lajcak was the first minister from a EU-member state to visit London after the referendum on Brexit held on June 23. During a short working visit he discussed the processes that have begun in Britain since the referendum as well as the steps that should be adopted in preparations for Britain’s departure from the Union, the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s press department told TASR.
The issue of setting new relations between London and the remaining 27 EU-member states also formed part of the talks.
“Maintaining the best possible quality of relations has to be one of the main priorities. This is in the interests of Britain as well as of the European Union. And in this spirit Slovakia, as the presiding country of the Council of the EU, will address this issue,” said Lajcak, whose country is due to take over the presidency as of Friday (July 1).
The Slovak minister added that the longer the uncertainty concerning Britain’s departure from the Union continues, the greater the risk to the quality of future cooperation will be.
“It’s very important to keep calm so that the atmosphere between Britain and the EU doesn’t deteriorate,” said Lajcak, adding that Slovakia learnt this during the splitting of Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s. “Responsible negotiations form the basis for good relations in the future,” he added.