However, the UK will not hurry to trigger the formal mechanism for leaving the EU, the country’s outgoing prime minster, David Cameron, told parliament on Monday.
Merkel, addressing a press conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, urged caution against hasty Brexit negotiations, but also warned against prolonging the process.
“We cannot afford a permanent impasse, it would not be good for both sides,” she said, adding that uncertainty after Brexit would have negative impact on the British economy, as well as the economies of the other 27 EU members.
Merkel emphasized on Monday that there would be no informal negotiations with the UK until the British government would formally express its intent to leave the EU. She is to talk with Cameron on Tuesday in Brussels.
Merkel was speaking before ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Britain’s credit rating from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA’ with a negative outlook late on Monday.
Cameron, who announced his resignation after last week’s EU membership referendum delivered a narrow verdict for Britain to leave the 28-nation bloc, said civil servants and public officials across the country needed time to prepare for exit negotiations.
Article 50, the European Union treaty clause used by members who wish to leave the bloc, would not be triggered at this stage, he told MPs.
“Before we [trigger Article 50], we need to determine the kind of relationship we want with the EU. And that is rightly something for the next prime minister and their cabinet to decide,” he said.
Britain’s governing Conservative Party announced nominations to replace Cameron as leader would open at midday on Wednesday and close 24 hours later.
The new leader would be in place by Sep. 2, the party said.
Former London mayor Boris Johnson and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, were both widely rumored to be considering putting themselves forward for the role.
The referendum result continued to cause turmoil in Britain’s opposition Labour Party, where two-thirds of the leadership team resigned in a revolt against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
Corbyn rejected calls to step down after more than 20 members of the party’s top team resigned, claiming he had not been sufficiently enthusiastic about Britain’s EU membership.
Financial markets continued to reverberate in the second business day following the Brexit decision.
The London FTSE 100 index closed down 2.6 percent at the end of Monday's trading and pound sterling reached a new 31-year low against the U.S. dollar before recovering slightly to $1.32.