Belgian to head EU Brexit task force 

Belgian to head EU Brexit task force 

BRUSSELS: (APP) The EU said Saturday it had appointed Belgian Didier Seeuws, a longtime aide to former EU president Herman Van Rompuy, to head the bloc's special task force to negotiate Britain's exit.

"I can confirm that... there is a task force which will handle all negotiations," Preben Aamann, a spokesman for current EU president Donald Tusk, told AFP, confirming Seeuws had been appointed to lead it.

Aamann said Seeuws was currently doing preparatory work, with the negotiations yet to get underway pending a British decision to formally inform the council that it wants to leave the European Union.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, has meanwhile set up an "Article 50 Task Force" to draw up legislative proposals for Britain's departure, which is governed by Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, an EU source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Tusk and his EU peers said Friday the talks, however difficult they might be, should begin as soon as possible to end the uncertainty caused by Britain's vote on Thursday to quit the 28-nation bloc.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, announcing his resignation after the vote, said he would leave the negotiations to his successor, expected to take office in October.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Saturday that Cameron's decision to wait until October to leave was "scandalous" and tantamount to "taking the whole (European) continent hostage".