Germany's Merkel takes hard line on Brexit

Speaking to national broadcaster ZDF at the weekend, Merkel warned that Britain would have to accept the good with the bad in its future relationship with the union and reiterated that there would be no "cherry picking" with the U.K. able to pick and choose which aspects of EU life it wanted to keep.

"The decision (of Britons to leave the EU) has been taken … and the next step is – and Britain will do this only when they have a new prime minister – to invoke Article 50," she told public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday, Reuters reported.

"I expect that to happen. I deal with reality and I firmly expect that application will be made," Merkel added when asked if she thought there was a chance that Brexit would not happen.