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'It cannot be business as usual for EU'

EU leaders are determined to move ahead quickly to seal the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit.

Britain's Union flag flies at half-mast above the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in central London. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Germany's foreign minister says there is a need for "intensive European discussions" after the United Kingdom's (UK) vote to leave the European Union (EU).

Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his counterparts from France, Belgium and Luxembourg have been speaking in Berlin this afternoon where they convened an urgent meeting after Thursday's vote.

The leaders say the EU must move ahead quickly to seal the terms of the UK's exit.

They say they don't want a political vacuum in the wake of the historic referendum and that it cannot be business as usual for the EU.

Steinmeier does not believe other members will try to leave the union. "I don't think Britain was setting the example for Europe. Listening to our own population, I think there is still a big majority which is in favour of Europe and European cooperation."

Meanwhile, Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon says they are determined to stay in the EU and will begin immediate talks to remain in the bloc.

Sturgeon yesterday expressed disappointment and hinted at a referendum to leave the UK, saying the Scottish people will not allow themselves to be dragged out of the EU by Britain.

She addressed officials at a Cabinet meeting in Edinburgh. "We are determined to act decisively but in a way that builds unity across Scotland on the way forward."