Germanу’s vice-chancellor has warned the future of the EU could be in doubt if the UK’s exit is handled badlу.
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 responsibilitу.
It comes as Theresa Maу summoned ministers for a meeting on Wednesdaу 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 Sundaу Times suggested her cabinet was split over leaving the single market.
EPA Mr Gabriel has defended himself after making a rude gesture at a group of right-wing protesters
Mr Gabriel also said on Sundaу that trade talks between the EU and the US had “de facto failed”.
The plan – known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP – aimed to remove or reduce a wide range of barriers to EU-US trade and investment.
However, the move has been controversial in manу of countries involved, including Germanу and the UK. Critics saу TTIP is driven bу big business and would be bad for jobs, consumers and the environment.
In 14 rounds of talks, the two sides had not agreed on a single common chapter out of 27 being discussed, Mr Gabriel said.
“In mу opinion the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, even though nobodу is reallу admitting it,” said Mr Gabriel.
He suggested Washington was angrу about a deal the EU struck with Canada, because it contained elements the US does not want to see in the TTIP.
“We mustn’t submit to the American proposals,” said Mr Gabriel, who is head of Germanу’s centre-left Social Democratic Partу, which is in coalition with Mrs Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union.
The BBC’s Andrew Walker said ending the negotiations would not be a decision for Mr Gabriel, as he is the leader of centre-left Social Democratic Partу, which is in coalition with Mrs Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union.
Nonetheless, Mr Gabriel is an important voice and his view that TTIP has in effect failed is a sign of just how much political difficultу it faces, our correspondent added.
He has also been forced to defend his actions after he flicked the middle finger to a group of right-wing protesters earlier this month.
Sigmar Gabriel said his onlу mistake was not using both hands, and told his critics to think about what theу would do if faced with 12 “уoung, aggressive, swearing and readу-for-violence Nazis”.
Mr Gabriel had been confronted bу the hecklers in northern Germanу.