Raf Casert?and Lorne Cook

BRUSSELS: European leaders pushed Britain toward the exit door Tuesday, warning Prime Minister David Cameron that there’s no turning back after his country’s unprecedented vote to leave the EU and pressing for a quick and clear British departure plan to quell worldwide anxiety about the continent’s future.

Leader after leader rejected Cameron’s pleas for favorable conditions for Britain once it leaves, insisting there would be no cherry-picking of advantageous trade conditions. Yet Cameron frustrated them by refusing to initiate the divorce proceedings immediately, saying he would leave the departure negotiations to his successor.

“Everyone wants to see a clear model appear” for Britain’s future relations with the bloc, he said after what was probably his last dinner with EU counterparts, adding that he “can’t put a timeframe on that.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed suggestions that Cameron’s successor might not start the formal EU withdrawal process because of the financial turmoil prompted by the vote and wide confusion about how to extract a country from the EU.

“I see no way to reverse it,” Merkel said after Tuesday’s meetings. She said this is not the time for “wishful thinking.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk agreed: “Europe is ready to start the divorce process, even today.”

Last week’s vote unleashed financial and political turmoil not only in Britain but across the EU, the world’s biggest economic power and home to half a billion people. The unexpected exit vote will rob the EU of its richest financial market, biggest military power and a diplomatic giant.

During the summit, Cameron sat at one end of the oval summit table in blue shirt sleeves, arguing for the best possible exit conditions for his island nation. Other EU leaders refused to negotiate, seemingly eager to kick Britain out as soon as possible to avoid further political and economic turmoil after the shock and emotion of the British vote to leave last week.

“We are not on Facebook, where things are complicated. We are married or divorced, but not something in between,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said.

In a special session of the EU parliament hours earlier, there had been cries of campaign “lies” from legislators regretting the loss of Britain, and taunting by “leave” campaigner Nigel Farage.

“You as a political project are in denial,” declared Farage, leader of the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party. “When I came here 17 years ago and said I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, you’re not laughing now, are you?”

The common refrain at the meeting was sadness.

Realizing the threat of a rift further tearing at European unity, Tusk said he was planning a special meeting of the EU leaders in Slovakia in September to chart a way ahead. German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to use “all her strength” to prevent the EU from drifting apart.