Europe

Hollande says Britain's EU exit process shouldn't 'drag on'

  • French President Francois Hollande, speaks during a press conference with Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin, Thursday July 21, 2016. (Niall Carson /PA via AP)

    French President Francois Hollande, speaks during a press conference with Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny at Government Buildings in Dublin, Thursday July 21, 2016. (Niall Carson /PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's President Francois Hollande, centre, greets Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    France's President Francois Hollande, centre, greets Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

  • France's President Francois Hollande, right, shakes hand with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at the end of a press conference at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Thursday, July 21, 2016. The European Central Bank said Thursday it stands ready to give the eurozone a further dose of stimulus if Britain's vote to leave the European Union starts to weigh on the region's economy. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    France's President Francois Hollande, right, shakes hand with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at the end of a press conference at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Thursday, July 21, 2016. The European Central Bank said Thursday it stands ready to give the eurozone a further dose of stimulus if Britain's vote to leave the European Union starts to weigh on the region's economy. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

French President Francois Hollande says Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union shouldn't "drag on."

Hollande is due to meet Thursday with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who took office last week.

Speaking in Dublin after talks with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Hollande said "the sooner the negotiations are open the better, and the shorter the better."

And he warned that Britain won't get access to the EU single market unless it allows free movement of EU workers.

May met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, and said Britain won't start exit talks until "our objectives are clear" — and that won't be before early 2017.

Merkel struck a conciliatory tone, saying "nobody wants a long-term stalemate," but it's reasonable to give Britain time to prepare carefully.