There will be no informal discussions between Britain and the EU before the British government invokes formal divorce proceedings by making the Article 50 request, a German government spokesman has said.
Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, told a news conference: "One thing is clear: before Britain has sent this request there will be no informal preliminary talks about the modalities of leaving."
Only when Britain has made the request according to Article 50 will the European Council draw up guidelines in consensus for an exit agreement.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said there will have to be a "trade-off" on UK access to the EU single market and migration controls.
France's foreign minister called for the UK to trigger the exit clause after a meeting with counterparts of the six EU founding states.
European leaders have reacted to the UK's historic vote to leave the EU.