Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street in central London on July 13, 2016 on the day she took office following the formal resignation of David Cameron.
Theresa May on Wednesday became Britain's new prime minister, taking over from David Cameron with the task of negotiating Britain's exit from the EU.
Queen Elizabeth II invited Conservative Party leader May, 59, to form a government during a brief meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, less than an hour after Cameron tendered his resignation to the head of state.
EU President Donald Tusk said he looked forward to a "fruitful working relationship" with incoming British Prime Minister Theresa May who faces the task of negotiating the country's exit from the bloc.
"I look forward to a fruitful working relationship and to welcoming you to the European Council" of European Union leaders, Tusk said in a brief letter of congratulations that was released by his office Wednesday.
May's first meeting with key EU leaders could be at the G20 summit in China on September 4 or 5, but her first encounter with all of the other 27 EU leaders will be at the next European Council summit on October 20-21.
Since Britons narrowly voted for Britain to leave the bloc in June 23 referendum, European leaders have asked London to quickly formalise its divorce but May has indicated she will not be rushed.
During a visit to China, Tusk said that "after this so called divorce procedure the UK will remain our closest partner".
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted Wednesday that Brexit should not apply to Scotland, where a majority voted for Britain to remain in the EU.
As David Cameron handed over power to Theresa May, the leader of the secessionist Scottish National Party (SNP) said she would urge the new British prime minister to respect the vote in Scotland.
"Theresa May said in her view Brexit means Brexit. I respect that she has a mandate for that as England and Wales voted for it," Sturgeon told reporters in London.
However, "Brexit doesn't mean Brexit for Scotland because Scotland didn't vote for Brexit", she said. "For us, Remain means Remain."
Sturgeon said she had a mandate to "to respect the wishes of the people of Scotland to find a way of keeping Scotland within the EU or protecting our relationship with EU".
Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom in a September 2014 referendum.
Sturgeon has threatened to hold another independence vote on the back of the EU decision, saying circumstances have changed markedly since the last one.
She said Wednesday that all options were on the table.
She cited the cases of Jersey and Guernsey — British crown dependencies off the French coast which are not part of the UK or the EU, but which are treated as part of the European free trade zone.
"An outcome which is different for Scotland than for the rest of the UK is not beyond the wit of us to come up with," Sturgeon said.
In the June 23 referendum on Britain's membership of the EU, 52 percent of voters backed leaving, on a 72 percent turnout.
In Scotland, 62 percent voted for Britain to stay in, on a 67 percent turnout.