The president of the European Council has called on British Premier Theresa May to start the process of her country’s exit from the European Union as soon as possible.
Speaking at the start of their meeting at the No. 10 Downing Street in the British capital, London, Donald Tusk told May that "the ball is now in your court" to start negotiations, stressing the process should begin as soon as possible.
Tusk said the other EU countries were waiting to see when London would trigger the Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty which formally launches Britain's divorce from the bloc.
"I'm aware that it is not easy but I still hope you will be ready to start the process as soon as possible,” Tusk told May.
Reacting to Tusk’s remarks, May's spokeswoman Helen Bower denied that his comments were an attempt to put pressure on Britain, saying, "There wasn't a sense in the meeting that we are under pressure on this."
The British premier has signaled that she is in no rush to trigger the formal two-year round of exit talks with the EU, amid divisions within her government about the kind of deal Britain hopes to strike.
May said on Wednesday that London would "think through the issues in a sober and considered way."
"We will not take decisions until we are ready, we will not reveal our hand prematurely and we will not provide a running commentary on every twist and turn of the negotiations," she told lawmakers.
EU lawmakers have appointed former Belgian Premier Guy Verhofstadt to represent the European Parliament in Brexit negotiations.
On June 23, some 52 percent (17.4 million) of British people voted in a referendum to leave the EU after 43 years of membership, while roughly 48 percent (16.14 million) of people voted to stay in the union. 
The results of the referendum prompted David Cameron to step down as prime minister and leave the exit process to his successor May, who was named within a few weeks after his resignation.
May, however, has indicated she does not plan to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty initiating the UK’s departure from the EU before the start of 2017.