Britain, EU should work together for smooth divorce - UK PM

LONDON: Britain and the European Union should work together to smooth their divorce and forge a new strong relationship, Prime Minister Theresa May told European Council President Donald Tusk on Thursday.

May's spokeswoman said that the two leaders' first meeting since she became prime minister following the June 23 Brexit vote was friendly and that the British leader felt the EU understood her need to take time to form a negotiating stance before triggering the formal divorce procedure.

"The main points that the prime minister made were about working together so that there was a smooth process for the UK leaving the European Union, that is why we are taking time to prepare for the negotiations," the spokeswoman told reporters.

May also told Tusk that Britain would be a "strong player" while it remained in the European Union, and would continue to stand firm on sanctions against Russia over its action in neighbouring Ukraine.