February 3, 2017 / 12:24 AM / 2 years ago

It's not in Britain's interests for other countries to quit EU, minister says

Leave supporters cheer results at a Leave.eu party after polling stations closed in the Referendum on the European Union in London, Britain, June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

BERLIN (Reuters) - Britain’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment said in a newspaper interview that Britain did not want other countries to follow its lead by quitting the European Union.

Britons voted in a referendum last June to leave the EU and the British government is aiming to begin exit negotiations with the bloc by March 31, which would kick off two years of divorce talks.

“It’s not in Britain’s interests for other EU members to follow our example and leave the EU,” Greg Hands told German newspaper Rheinische Post’s Friday edition.

He said Britain wanted the EU to remain united and strong.

U.S. President Donald Trump has called Brexit a “great thing” and has said he believes other countries will follow Britain in leaving the EU.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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