LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron said his successor could begin negotiations with the European Union about the country's exit from the bloc before the formal 'Article 50' legal process is triggered, despite comments from the EU to the contrary.

"They have said 'no negotiation, without notification' but I don't think that excludes discussion that a new prime minister can have with partners or indeed with the institutions so that we continue to get off on the right foot," he said.

Cameron also said that keeping the United Kingdom together was of paramount importance, responding to concerns that its constituent nations could seek independence after Britons voted to leave the European Union.

"Keeping the United Kingdom together is an absolute paramount national interest for our country," he told parliament

(Reporting by William James and Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)