Germany expects Britain to trigger article 50 of the European Union's Lisbon treaty to begin the formal process of leaving the bloc once it has picked a new prime minister, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.
Merkel also told German broadcaster ZDF in an interview that Britain would not be allowed to "cherrypick" what it wants to keep from its EU membership while jettisoning aspects of the relationship that it does not like.
"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 said.
"I expect that to happen. I deal with reality and I firmly expect that application will be made," she added.
British voters backed Brexit in a June 23 referendum. Prime Minister David Cameron intends to stand down and has said it will be for his successor to invoke article 50 which will launch two years of divorce negotiations.