Germany’s vice-chancellor has warned the future of the EU could be in doubt if the UK’s exit is handled badly.
Sigmar Gabriel said the EU would go “down the drain” if other states followed Britain’s lead and that the UK could not keep the “nice things” about Europe while taking no responsibility.
It comes as Theresa May summoned ministers for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss ideas for the UK’s withdrawal.
Downing Street said Brexit was “top” of the prime minister’s agenda. But a report in The Sunday Times suggested her cabinet was split over leaving the single market.
The UK voted to leave the European Union in a referendum vote on 23 June.
Mr Gabriel, who is also economy minister in Germany’s governing coalition and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy, told a news conference that as a result, the world now regarded Europe as an unstable continent.