MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. The EU leaders announced intention to take a tougher approach towards Brexit at the bloc’s summit last week, Russia’s Ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Monday.
According to him, nothing new was said concerning the Brexit issue at the recent EU summit. "Initially, there was a lot of buzz over the traditional annual end of year dinner as UK Prime Minister Theresa May hadn’t been invited," the Russian diplomat said.
"However, there was no dinner in the end, things were wrapped up in order to arrange a 20-minute working session." "The main signal sent to London is that they should adopt a more rigorous approach towards Brexit," Chizhov noted.
"According to my estimates, the Brexit process may take several years. I won’t be surprised if more than ten," Chizhov added.
On June 23, as many as 51.9% of UK citizens (17.41 million people) voted for leaving the European Union, while 48.1% (16.14 million) voted in favor of remaining part of the bloc. Theresa May who took the helm of the UK government this past July following her predecessor’s resignation after losing the Brexit referendum, pledged to act in line with the people’s will and launch the procedure of ending the country’s EU membership before March of 2017.
The UK government seeks to reject the principle of free movement while retaining access to the common market.