Press Advisories

24. 6. 2016 10:02

Comments from the Prime Minister on the departure of Great Britain from the EU

The European Union will never be the same again. Today, we awoke to the beginning of a new stage of the European integration. Although many feel regret at the moment, it is important to remember, this is not the end of the world and certainly not the end of the European Union. The United Kingdom chose a different path than that of the European integration. Now, it is up to us to begin the debate on our future course and what we expect of the united Europe. Unfortunately, this process will go on without the United Kingdom.

The government of the United Kingdom now stands before the decision to notify its intention to leave the EU. This notification will mark the beginning of at least two years of negotiations regarding our future relationship. Britons will certainly have lesser influence on the events transpiring in Europe and the nation will be overall weaker and lose its importance. The forthcoming years will see them struggle once again to retain Scotland and Northern Ireland. We should agree on the terms of leaving the EU with the Britons rationally and fast.

The European Union has to change. Not because the United Kingdom has chosen to leave, but because the Union needs a stronger support of its people. More than ever, we must remember that the Union should first and foremost serve Europeans. It must be clear that, thanks to our common approach, we are stronger, more successful, and more prepared to face the challenges of this era. Europe must be more flexible, less bureaucratic, and more reflective of the diversity which 27 Member States naturally represent. Out task will be to relentlessly explain the advantages of our unique European cooperation, strengthen it where it helps us all and let go of things that hold us back. We must be capable of showing what the European Union offers to its people and that the ability to find common ground is what makes Europe a safe place that offers a good quality of life.

The Czech Republic stands ready to actively take part in this process. The European Union represents the best imaginable guarantee of stability, peace, and prosperity, but it must go through changes that will ensure its further survival.

Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

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